Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
It is not hard to feel disillusioned in a world that teeters on an abyss made up of political lies, when heroes became scapegoats, when those who seek fame for the sake of being famous are lauded as brilliant minds and when art is downgraded to nothing more than a pursuit or hobby; it is not hard to feel the cynicism when all you believe to be true is attacked by those who have not even looked beyond their own installed pre-convictions.
It is to feel the Spirit in the Form of hope that gets you through each suspicious, sarcastic remark designed to wound a thousand times and keep you searching for an answer, for a symbol, a figure who will come out of the dark and say, yes, I feel it too.
In Matthew Robb the spirit is what captivates, the progression of a song in its form which deep down you understand is telling you that there is always hope, to not give up the fight, no matter the sensation which wells up in your stomach and makes your mind scream out loud, makes it yell that enough of friends and loved ones passing away, enough of grief, enough of people’s materialism and their slavery to money, what is needed is redemption, the sign that the disillusionment with the world has reached its zenith and from here on in, it can be a kinder world.
Matthew Robb draws an atmosphere of love throughout Spirit in the Form but is conscious that to many who won’t let the undercurrent draw them into deeper circles, the feeling of hope will be lost as they revel in the despair of loss and addiction. It is always with a sense of disbelief that a musician can draw the veil across to reveal a moment of light and yet people will look in the darkest corner possible, afraid perhaps that the light is but an illusion.
In tracks such as Slave Song, No Room To Hate (Almost Afraid to Love), Where Did U Go My Friend and Blood on the Pillow, Matthew Robb presses home the need for hope in amongst the darkest corners, that all we have strived for is to be subjected to derision by the powers that be as we fight amongst ourselves for the opportunity to come out on top.
Spirit in the Form is a gripping album, one of passion, rightly delivered and with the mark of absolute character.
Ian D. Hall