Dont Look Down - Cerys Matthews Album Review

Cerys Matthews
Cerys Matthews

Album Review

Welsh songbird Cerys Matthews, once voted the Sexiest Female in Rock (Melody Maker 1999) must be cockahoop with her new album.

Dont Look Down is a drastic shift from her debut solo, Cockahoop and its follow-up Never Said Goodbye.

Her first album was deeply rooted in her then surroundings in America, when she was married. Her return to Wales (and now London) has brought a much bigger musical vision set in the 60s and occasional dips into her ex-bands repertoire. Theres no attempt to become another Duffy however, though Im sure shes noticed what her compatriot has been up to.

After several ups-and-downs following her departure from Catatonia a divorce from Nashville record producer Seth Riddle, a relocation to her beloved Wales and much publicised fling with an Im A Celebritycontestant, this album acts as a form of catharsis.

On the lush 60s Into The Blue she declares, Im not looking for trouble, trouble always finds me, though her spirit remains upbeat.

In a recent showing on BBC 1s The One Show, she admitted it was an album of positives, hence Dont Look Down.

Broadening her musical horizons, Matthews includes some huge production values a la Phil Spector found on the cinematic sweep of Arlington Way, a strong single in the making. Those soundscapes are littered masterfully across the entire collection however.

Keeping the retro-feel, theres also nod in the Motown direction on perky dance -bound Smash The Glass, while sweet filigree ballad Aeroplanes veers towards a 68 mood, providing our Cerys with one of her best vocal performances ever.

Theres a grittier epic touch to the laidback Spider And The Fly whereas Its Whats Left is mostly chaotic hi-octane pop proving the lady can still pack a punch.

Salutations takes the form of a desperately lonely mum noting a diary to a smooth and stylish sweep and hushed voice: the jewel in the crown. Then she goes all bold and brassy like some of her Catatonia days on punchy A Captain Needs A Ship, with edgy Heron hinting at 40s angst.

Matthews has written some great pop singlesbut this is her best work to date, no question.

The verdict Very, very impressive.

You may be interested in

© 2001 - 2018 AllGigs Limited, company number: 05113554. Registered office: 3 Silverdale Drive, London, SE9 4DH, England
All Rights Reserved. Use of this site is subject to our Terms and Conditions.