Review by Shannon Shumaker
While it took a couple of songs for me to really fall in love with Matt MacKelcan’s From Where I Stand, this album is definitely worth a listen. Every track on From Where I Stand is soft and simple and very easy to listen to, making it a perfect album to listen to on warm summer afternoons, spending the day at the lake or taking a drive through the mountains. It’s honestly just happy music - a perfect blend of indie, rock and country that will leave you wanting more.
One thing that really stood out to me on From Where I Stand was the guitar work. Sometimes, on a singer-songwriter’s album, the music just serves as background noise to back up their vocals, but that isn’t the case with From Where I Stand. Both the vocals and the instrumental parts on this album are great and neither one outshines the other. Instead, they work together in order to create a great product.
The song that really sold me on this record was the second track, “The 4th Of July Parade.” By the time the soft yet upbeat chorus hit, I was bobbing my head along with the song, smiling to the lyrics, “It’s a beautiful day when you can love somebody,” between happy “come on, come on”s in the background. “4th Of July Parade” definitely has a more small-town, almost country feel to it, which was a bit of a surprise, but definitely not in a bad way. Thankfully, it was just different enough to set Matt MacKelcan apart from other singer-songwriters in his genre.
The only downside on this album is that some of the songs seem to blend together. While Matt’s vocals throughout From Where I Stand are consistently strong and on-point, he also stays in pretty much the same vocal range throughout the entire record, making it hard for any songs to really stand out and shine. His vocals are soft and mellow, which is pleasant to listen to, but it also makes it hard for him to really belt on any tracks. That being said, however, there aren’t any songs that I actually dislike on this album, as it’s very hard to dislike his mellow, easy-going vocals that just make you smile.
From Where I Stand also has one quality about an album that I absolutely love, and that’s a strong ending track. “Pumping Straight Through My Heart” is the perfect final song on this record with very strong vocals and guitar work, and it leaves you wanting more, which is exactly what a great ending should do. Overall, From Where I Stand is a great album, especially for any fans of indie-rock. Matt MacKelcan has mastered this record, making it a must listen for the end of summer as the year fades into fall.
Listen to "4th Of July Parade"