#Review: Matt Maltese – Bad Contestant


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerMatt Maltese is a piano-led, 21-year-old, singer-songwriter, who pens songs that are both emotionally intelligent and satirical at the same time. Having recently toured with Isaac Gracie (review), he is now releasing his debut album, Bad Contestant, through Atlantic Records. Here are our thoughts…

Matt Maltese - Bad Contestant.jpg

Matt Maltese‘s debut, Bad Contestant, is jam packed full of wisdom beyond his years but served up with equal doses of cutting humour, hilarious irony and pure over-exaggeration. This is an artist who merges, at times, understated yet sultry melodies and retro sounds with stunning lyrical craftsmanship to create his own unique style.

Album-opener, ‘Greatest Comedian’, begins with an unassuming introduction before launching into a fantastic set of back-handed compliments topped off with some intriguing instrumentation and beautiful higher-pitched vocals in the chorus; very similar to something by label-mate, Will Joseph Cook.

Title-track, ‘Bad Contestant’, has some seriously funky synth sounds and sees Maltese take on the character of an overly honest and confessional yet fruitless game show contestant.

This is very much an album where jazz and a touch of britpop meet funky, organ-led soul.

Meanwhile, ‘Nightclub Love’ is deeply satirical look at how Maltese sees the realities of clubbing and finding love there, whilst ‘Less & Less’ is an extremely saddening break-up song that is both beautiful and also attempts to put a positive spin on the situation. Of course we can’t go without mentioning the wonderful track, ‘As The a World Caves In’; a hysterical tale of the unlikely hooking up of Donald Trump and Theresa May, watching the nuclear destruction of the world as they do it; genius!

Other key tracks worth taking note of, include; ‘Sweet Sixteen’, an organ-led track taking a twisted look at a modern relationship – the sound is very much somewhere between Kaiser Chiefs and Blur, ‘Like A Fish’ which sounds like the opening to an old, 80s, British TV show and ‘Misery’ which is a dark and intense track with some reverse-sounding vocals on the chorus. In fact, the latter half of the album appears to get darker as it goes on.

The album features production and collaboration by a combination of Jonathan Rado, Hugo White (Maccabees) Alex Burey.

This is very much an album where jazz and a touch of britpop meet funky, organ-led soul, all dressed up in a hipster outfit and sung with a deep, crisp and crooning vocal. Picture BlurPulp and Jamiroquai creating some sort of spliced-together lovechild that’s been brought into the modern, contemporary age and you get Matt Maltese‘s debut, Bad Contestant. A truly alluring debut that is sure to pave the way for an exciting career ahead.

Rating
4


‘Bad Contestant’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bad-contestant/1365077870


Bad Contestant on Spotify

Greatest Comedian (Official Video)

As The World Caves In (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this singer-songwriter’s uniquely captivating debut album? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Good Charlotte – ‘Actual Pain’


   

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Good Charlotte are back and damn are we excited!

Their sixth studio album, Youth Authority (2016), saw the band rise back to the success of their fourth album, Good Morning Revival (2007), both peaking at Number 13 in the UK Charts. Now, with their seventh album, Generation Rx, due out in September 2018, we hope to see them replicate or even surpass this.

Certainly, if new single, ‘Actual Pain’, is anything to go by, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The new single has managed to strike a perfect balance between some of their more synth-driven, pop-rock songs like ‘Dance Floor Anthem’ and ‘Misery’ and earlier, guitar-infused and more sincere tracks like ‘Hold On’ and ‘We Believe’.

This type of combination of their sounds is driving the band into a new era and is sure to please both old fans as well as capture new ones. It’s a really strong single that’s got me excited to hear the rest of the new album! I wonder if they’ll have one of their epic, atmospheric intro tracks, like they used to?!

The music video for this track is emotive, depicting a boy reminiscing about the good times he shared with his mother, during his childhood and how that changed over time. It appears is a narrative-driven music video, interspersed with GC performance – a great, new video from the band!

What are your thoughts of the band’s latest single? Are you excited about their new album, Generation Rx? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Actual Pain’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/actual-pain-single/1384922354


#reDISCOVERED: Good Charlotte

Welcome to our first re:DISCOVERED post!

Although this post is a trial, to see the reactions it gets, these posts will hopefully be a monthly occurrence, appearing on the first Sunday of every month (the Sunday after our monthly playlist).

This month, we have #reDISCOVERED: Good Charlotte

Good Charlotte Banner2

Good Charlotte originated from Waldorf, Maryland, USA and formed in 1995. Since 1998, the band has consisted of four constant members; twins Joel and Benji Madden, Paul Thomas and Billy Martin; then, since 2005, they have had drummer Dean Butterworth on board.

The band’s frontmen, the Madden twins, had a relatively rough childhood; on Christmas Eve 1995, the pair’s father upped and left, leaving the rest of the family to be evicted from their house. They then went on to work a whole host of jobs to help keep their family in their new home, as their mother had the autoimmune disease, lupus, meaning that she regularly stayed in hospitals. It was in 1996 their band began to take shape and record demos, launching them into their career, slowly but surely. This band and its members are ones I feel truly deserve to be where they are; they’ve worked their way up from nothing, to their global successes and achievements – a true marvel!


Good Charlotte

In September 2000, Good Charlotte released their debut album, Good Charlotte, with their first single, Little Things, being featured in the film, Dude, Where’s My Car?

The band went on to release a couple of other singles from the album, but the next track I want to feature is WaldorfWorldwide which is an album track also taken from their debut album. This song has a very ska-punk feel to it and caught my attention due to it’s interesting vibe.


The Young and the Hopeless

It was in 2002 (USA) and 2003 (Worldwide), when GC released their second album, The Young and the Hopeless, that they fully captured the world’s attention with their first single off the album, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This track was iconic dude to its intense pop-punk sound and lyrical content about celebrities and their lack of appreciation for how privileged they are.

Next I’ve chosen single, The Anthem, which literally is an anthem for the band! The video featured cameo appearances from other American pop-punk bands, MEST and Home GrownNew Found Glory were also present at the filming, but weren’t featured in the final video. This particular song has gone on to be featured in a whole host of films, soundtracks and television programmes.

The third single from the album, Girls & Boys, has to be mentioned due to it’s popularity; up to this point this was their highest charting single in the UK, reaching number 6. The song is themed around girls basically being gold-diggers and the video featured elderly people playing video games and ends with Benji Madden, waking up to find an elderly lady in his t-shirt!

The final from this album was Hold On and this song particularly struck a chord with me due to its video. The song was written by the band, in response to letters they received from fans who said they were considering suicide. The video then featured several people talking about their experiences of either surviving suicide attempts or talking about loved ones they’d lost to suicide. This song feels personal and like it speaks out to fans – it’s a song to bring people, going through similar things, together.


The Chronicles of Life and Death

The first single from this 2004 album was Predictable and saw an angrier side to GC. I particularly liked this song at the time, due to its angry, almost-spoken, sections – it really was every emo-kids wet dream to chant along to…and sort of still is! The video was interesting too, taking place in an almost Edward Scissorhands-like town, which was actually drawn by band member, Billy Martin.

Next, I’ve chosen the title track from the album, The Chronicles of Life and Death – this song has quite a plodding feel to its verses before bursting into an anthemic chorus about life and death, as is the song’s theme. It’s quite a simple, yet effective track.

The final song I’ve chosen from this album is the song We Believe; as well as being the final single from the album, this song captured me from the very first listen of the album. I adore the build-up from the mellow verses to the more beautifully chaotic choruses – even the instrumental breakdown feels passionate. It’s a real chanter and makes you feel like you’re part of something special when you sing along. This is possibly one of my favourite GC songs!


Good Morning Revival

Released in 2007, this album saw GC move from pop-punk to dance-punk with its more synth-infused sound. I have chosen the first single off this album, The River, as it is one of my other, favourite GC tracks, featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from the band, Avenged Sevenfold. The song features several Bible references but has a very catchy chorus.

The next song I’d like to mention is Misery, which although was released as the fourth single taken from the album, did not ever have a music video. This song really encapsulates their dance-punk sound from this album; the bridge from the verse to the chorus has an interesting, fast-sung quality to it and works well with the synths underlying the song.

The final song I’ve chosen from this album, was the album track, Broken Hearts Parade, as it’s got a very ska-punk quality to it, similar to their track WaldorfWorldwide from their earlier days.

This album also saw the band support Justin Timberlake on some dates of his FutureSex/LoveSounds Tour.


Cardiology

In 2010, GC released their fifth album. This particular album saw the band return to their more pop-punk sound, with Benji Madden stating that the album would “sound a lot like Blink-182.”

I’ve chosen album track Counting The Days as my first featured song from this album; I love the gang vocals towards the end of the song as it would make a real crowd-pleaser at a live show!

The penultimate track was the second single released from GC’s fifth album, Sex On The Radio. The song’s all-consuming chorus makes you sing along and whilst it’s sort of cheesy, it’s got quite a 1970s/1980s rock feel to it, making it quite a stand-out track.

The last song I’ve chosen is GC’s final single release (to date!), 1979. This sound has a very summery feel to it with its predominantly acoustic-driven sound. It also paved the way for The Madden Brothers‘ debut album, Greetings From California, which has a similar vibe, even though it wouldn’t come for another four years after this album. You can read more about The Madden Brothers on our recent #FeelGoodFriday post.


So here it is, the full list of Good Charlotte, re:DISCOVERED. Please feel free to watch the playlist on YouTube or listen to it on Spotify, both of which are found below:

  1. Little Things
  2. WaldorfWorldwide
  3. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
  4. The Anthem
  5. Girls & Boys
  6. Hold On
  7. Predictable
  8. The Chronicles of Life and Death
  9. We Believe
  10. The River featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates
  11. Misery
  12. Broken Hearts Parade
  13. Let The Music Play
  14. Sex On The Radio
  15. 1979

As for the future of Good Charlotte, no one is certain. The band are rumoured to be working on a sixth album, but nothing is set in stone, as of yet. We’ll keep you updated though.


I hope you’ve enjoyed our first re:DISCOVERED post about a band who mean a great deal to me. Are you a Good Charlotte fan? What are your favourite songs by the band? Please share this with your friends on your social media accounts and spread the GC love.

Matt – Muzik Speaks