Review by Shannon Shumaker
Ever since Citizen’s Mat Kerekes released the first single from his new solo effort, Luna & the Wild Blue Everything, I’ve been anxious to hear what it would sound like, but never could have anticipated the beauty, emotion and incredible storytelling that can be found in just the first song, let alone the album as a whole. Luna & the Wild Blue Everything is meant to read (or rather listen) like a children’s storybook, and it absolutely does, from the big, bright beginning to the many highs and lows throughout these ten songs.
“The Clubs: The People’s Attention” opens Luna & the Wild BLue Everything and honestly feels like a theatrical movie intro. This first song is the inspirational beginning before you really get into the meat of the story on the album - it’s big, bright and beautiful. The instrumentals are larger than life, while Mat’s emotional vocals float easily over everything, and by the time “The Clubs: The People’s Attention” comes to a close, there’s no doubt that you’ll be just as excited as I was for the rest of the album.
Following the big opener is “Direction,” a more stripped down, raw side of Mat Kerekes, carried by simplistic drumming and bright acoustics that sound like they were recorded in an empty room. At times, “Direction” tends to sound like a Citizen song, but for the most part, Luna & the Wild Blue Everything is more than capable of standing on its own. On top of that, Anthony Green’s guest vocals on “Direction” are a spectacular addition and really match the emotion that Mat Kerekes conveys. Then, taking listeners to the next chapter in the story is “My Lucky #3,” a more upbeat, feel-good track. Three songs in, and it’s very apparent that Luna & the Wild Blue Everything is Mat Kerekes at his best. The vocal range in “My Lucky #3” is incredible, from the softer high vocals to Kerekes’ signature aggressive half-yells.
Where “My Lucky #3” is more upbeat, the following track, “In Every Inch, In Every Mile” is a slower love song, moving the story along with ease. “Bosque Verde” follows suit with a slower, more simplistic sound. Much like “Direction,” this track feels very raw and live, like it was recorded in an empty room with beautiful acoustics. While the quality of “Bosque Verde” would normally feel distracting or break up any other album, it works perfectly with the themes and emotions on Luna & the Wild Blue Everything. Then comes “Canvas,” which picks things up again. Much like “My Lucky #3,” this song feels like a new chapter or new beginning. The drums on this track are very powerful and keep things high energy and upbeat.
Although the second half of Luna & the Wild Blue Everything tends to feel a little slow and sleepy at times, there are definitely some standouts, as well. “Riding In Your Car,” for instance, would threaten to be a very slow and somewhat boring song, but the added violin makes it absolutely stunning. "From None" easily hosts some of the most beautiful vocal work on the album, while “...For Anyone,” another sleepy track, is very emotionally powerful, despite the lack of energy, ending with the echoing line, "Have you ever felt alone?" Then, “The Means Of ( )” ends things on a high note, just as they began.
The strongest aspect of Luna & the Wild Blue Everything is definitely Mat Kerekes’ ability to tell a story though emotional and personal songs. The raw quality of the album makes you feel like you’re in the room with him as he plays and sings these songs, and the result is a very intimate, but at the same time a very monumental release. Luna & the Wild Blue Everything is catchy without becoming too poppy or sugar-coated, and emotional and raw without sounding obscure. It plays like a children’s storybook or a movie, which means you have to listen to it from front to back, but that certainly won’t be a problem.
Listen to "My Lucky #3" or "Direction"
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