From the off-set, Krystal sees Matt Maltese settle even further into the piano bar melancholy we fell in love with in Bad Contestant. Early ivory twinkles give the illusion of a cheerful, happy-go-lucky performer, one likely to burst suddenly into a cane-aided tap routine, but the sombre themes beneath this rosy surface remain the same: heartache, nostalgia, more heartache.
While much of the album carries Matt’s distinctive hotel-lounge sound quite neatly, ‘Tokyo’ is a pleasantly Beatles-esque surprise. Ditching the keys instead for an acoustic guitar, the track follows a confused and loved-up narrator (familiar) through three minutes of pure, unadulterated amour. And though it may be significantly less complex than other titles on the album (take the opener, ‘Rom-Com Gone Wrong’), it shows a real range from our own English Romeo. Naturally, it’s immediately followed by a slow, sultry tale of unrequited love, deliciously reminiscent of his early years. Classic.
But while romantic undertones may be found across the Maltese board, that’s by no means to say he hasn’t steadily progressed from his acclaimed debut...
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