Matt Andersen, Honest Man. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

There are those who see honesty as a virtue, as the cleanest response to a world which celebrates the liar and the thief with equal applause, it is to be admired and seen as the value of the person that they will confess their sins or speak the truth when all around them is cowering in a bucket load of lies. There are those, however that sees the Honest Man as dangerous, as treacherous to the cause of furthering ambition and is the reason why those who seek power quake silently at the questions asked in frank, candid expression.

Canada’s Matt Andersen is a man that proves being the Honest Man in any given situation is enough to be respected; it is what he offers instead of the counterfeit or the glamour that marks him out as sincere, his songs and musings as direct, honourable and beyond doubt. It is in those words and magnificent Blues stanzas that his seventh studio album stands out, that it makes those who doubt that openness of conversation and observation is anything but a tool of anarchy; shiver with anticipation of what the musician has to say.

Politics and the personal life are so entwined that to try and put a sliver of paper between them is to see folly being employed, to see denial become rampant. Yet we deny they exist as cohorts, as the same coin with two faces. Matt Anderson takes the voyage of Blues between these two states of emotion and finds that the two grey suited faces of the coin have melded together and the sneering of some is tantamount to treachery to the rest of the population. It is the same with personal lives, that we cannot find it in our hearts to be brave when something truly destroys us, we carry on in that same denial, renouncing the facts that suggest we have ever been hurt or confused about a relationship.

In tracks such as The gift, Quiet Company, Last Surrender, the fantastic Who Are You Listening To and One Good Song, Matt Andersen fulfils the need to see beyond the powers that instruct obedience and mass dominance over both heart and mind and asks only that you remain truthful to your own ethos; that you remain decent, that you stay an Honest Man.

Ian D. Hall