Review by Shannon Shumaker
It’s a pretty great feeling when a song just seems to speak to you; when you hear the lyrics and they just click with you and it makes you say, “oh my god.” That being said, it wasn’t until the third song (“Like High School”) on Matt Duke’s newest album, singer/songwriter that I had that moment, but it was totally worth the wait. It’s a relatively simple song and there’s not a whole lot to it, but the lyrics really speak to the listener, and I’m certain that they’re something that we’ve all thought at one point or another: “when you step into the real world, it’s just like high school.” And if that song wasn’t a clear indicator that singer/songwriter was bound to be a wonderfully written and honest album, then the other seven tracks on the album just prove it.
From track to track, Matt’s vocals are on point and he makes telling a story through his lyrics just seem easy, like it’s something that comes natural to him. The whole album is really an interesting listen, because while some songs are slow, sad and simple, there are other much more upbeat tracks following shortly after, keeping the listener on their toes. The best part about this album is that no song sounds the same. While songs like “Hold Me (I Don’t Want To Be Touched)” and “Susannah” reminded me quite a bit of William Fitzsimmons, slow and broken down, Matt was quick to bring the energy right back up, especially with his track “Leaving” which really felt completely different than the other two and almost had a bit of an Ed Sheeran vibe to it. It makes this record different because while Matt is exactly what the album title says he is – a singer/songwriter – this album doesn’t sound like any other simple, boring record put out by just any guy with a guitar. No, it’s apparent that Matt Duke really knows what he’s doing both musically and lyrically, and singer/songwriter is just a testament to that.
Listen to "Like High School"