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     Matt Angus Williams has two visible goals--making a difference in the world through his political efforts [he recently ran for Congress in NJ] and penning and performing great music. When I first got "Political Pop" I was somewhat bewildered as to what Matt's music was going to be about. It only took a few moments of listening and I totally got it. Matt's music is his and is performed with extraordinary drive and execution. Matt provides the vocals and plays guitar. His backing band is Randy Artiglere [bass], Chris Hedges [lead guitar], and Tom Nelson [drums]. They have a number of guests on the disc including Levon Helm on drums and mandolin on the tune, "Understand". Here are some of my favorites:

     The CD opens with heavy drums on "Brings You Down" followed by tasty guitar. Matt has a clear authoritative voice that begs a response from the woman he is asking for a commitment from. This song has air play written all over it. I found myself going back to it again and again. The accompaniment throughout is perfect. Your whole body will be moving to this one. Grab some air guitar or drums.

    "Right Beside You" is a catchy song featuring every member of the band with a short solo. Remarkable guitar work by Chris sets the tone of the tune. Matt harmonizes with himself using two tracks. I find myself wishing the song were longer so I could enjoy more of the work put into this song.

     "Caught Onto You" features great slide guitar work by Chris. The amercing question Matt pointedly asks "Is everything OK?" as he notes the clarity now visible about the person he is describing. It has the perfect instrumental clutch on the lyric.

     The pointed "President's Son" leaves nothing to the imagination as it pokes fun at it's target. Whew!

     The slow and pretty "Sweet" gives Matt a chance to show another side of his voice and pen. Bassist Randy augments the musical backdrop with tasty runs. Kim Williams lends augmentation on piano [she is the backing vocalist on many tracks].

     "If" has a great integration of Motown, country and rock. A horn section adds pop and accent to Matt as he shows how he could crossover to many types of music. Slippery guitar, driving drums and just the right bass complete the backing music.

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    The powerful guitar driven "What You Are Hearing" contrasts acoustic guitar with the heavily distorted guitar work of Chris. Matt stretches out on vocals pushing his voice to the edge.

     "Folsum Prison" opens with electric slide guitar reminiscent of Duane Allman. I only appreciate when someone covers a song and gives it a real injection of their own persona. The band does just this!

     "Jenin" features a beautiful lyric set beautifully to the song. Electric piano [guest - Bernie Worrell - P-Funk, Talking Heads, Pretenders] adds the perfect background accompaniment to Matt's voice and the band's groove.

     "Randy's Equation" opens with Chris providing solo guitar work, Matt's acoustic, and the band bound as one. I was surprised to find it an instrumental. It works well.

     The album closes with a political question asking "Why Can't I Get High" in the untitled hidden track #14.

     Matt Angus Thing provides strong entertainment showing off the expertise of every band member. You will find yourself going back again and again to listen to this CD. You can read more about the band at www.mattangusthing.com. Pick up a copy--Matt and company will find a permanent home in your collection. ~ steve ekblad audiogrid.com

Matt belting out a song

Matt's "politician" photo