Making a piece of art that is equally entertaining and emotionally compelling isn’t an easy thing to achieve. Luckily, for the most part Matt Blais has done just that with his recent release The Heartbeat. The album is a hearty helping of serious rock with just enough of a swaggered twist to keep it fresh and relevant.
On The Heartbeat, Blais covers some varied emotional ground, speaking to individuals and society on matters of frustration and loss. He doesn’t do so in a preachy or overbearing way, however, opting instead to convey his meaning through his own experiences and feelings. This makes for a lyrically and thematically inviting work that is easy to understand and connect to.
The connection between the quality writing and the music itself is a strong one. Blais underscores the backbone in his writing with a confidently headstrong sound. The album charges on through quite a few sonic adventures and doesn’t leave the listener unsatisfied when it’s all over. Blais really has hit on a solid sound and delivers quality music on almost all counts.
Not everything connects, however. At times certain instrumental parts and even on occasion Blais’ voice itself will seem to be somewhat lost and lacking in melodic or rhythmic direction. It’s not overly noticeable, but there are times where it feels like Blais could have tightened up the songs a little bit to achieve a final product with a somewhat more clear direction throughout. At a few other times, most notably in “All I’ve Got to Lose,” Blais’ vocals seem somewhat undeveloped and a couple of intonation issues surface.
When the dust settles, The Heartbeat is a quality record with many good things going for it. Blais simply does what he wants and for the most part that works very well. There is the odd time that his direction seems somewhat variable, but viewed as a whole this is a worthy work. The Heartbeat may not be perfect, but it’s hopefully indicative of a very positive direction for Matt Blais.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Get Out
– Set the City on Fire
The Big Hit
– Get Out
Review by Tyler Quiring