MATT DORSEY – Let Go

Random Disturbance 2023

Dulcet surrender of progressive adventures’ veteran who abandons grief for a sad smile and warm embrace.

MATT DORSEY –
Let Go

Forming a significant fiber in the sonic fabric of such ensembles as SOUND OF CONTACT, which he co-founded, and PROGJECT, which he’s been frolicking with lately, to name just a few, multi-instrumentalist Matt Dorsey has never really reached out for solo fame – and the art-rock stalwart doesn’t exactly do that on the first album under his own name, simply because “Let Go” comes full of languor and anguish. It’s not the kind of emotional mĂ©lange one can expect from a cosmically inclined artist, but when Dorsey’s love of Americana is married to his affection for philosophy the results are irresistible; more so, this brief, if seemingly long, visit into Matt’s inner world will reveal him favoring sweet, keening tune over prowess of delivery. Of course, the eight pieces on offer are perfectly performed, the roughness of feelings coloring, rather than casting a shadow on, their melodic surface.

That’s why, once organ waves lap over the barrelhouse piano of opener “Castles Made Of Sand” to put the depth of lyrical field into sharp relief with the number’s playful motif, the listener is pulled close to a pensive panorama where Matt’s bass runs propel his vocal harmonies towards cathartic gloom, before electric ivories and acoustic strum envelop Dorsey’s romantic voice to make “Compromise” as transparently plaintive a ballad as it gets. With Jonathan Mover and Marco Minnemann laying down sympathetically unhurried groove on most of the cuts here, and Dave Kerzner providing a synthesizer flight on “Waiting For The Fall” which should find the leading man’s guitar sporting a funky riff, there’s hardly a song on display to leave anyone indifferent to his musical musings, the flamenco-kissed “Impossible Friends” first and foremost of the cuts that are so easy to like and relate to.

And while the tumultuous “Man” brings Matt’s thoughts to a heavy pop grind, its plastic squelching possibly alienating those in search of instant gratification, the softly twanging “Echo” goes for a chamber-shaped flutter, and the platter’s title track rocks with reserved abandon for Dorsey’s pipes and strings to chime and abruptly stop. Yet the finale “Dangerous” emerges carrying light in its tight lines and wraps up the record on an optimistic fadeout. Letting go of this album isn’t easy but waiting for this artist to soldier on down this route is mandatory.

****4/5

March 1, 2023

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