Matia - Sing a Long
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Mattia Rugerri, or better know as Mattia releases his debut CD Sing-a–Long in March, 2009. Mattia hails from Rome, Italy and plays his acoustic guitar and sings to you with a thick Italian accent and European charm. Mattia’s music is a jovial blend of acoustic surf rock, reminiscent of Jack Johnson, Los Lonely Boys, Ben Harper, with just a dash of Jason Mraz. The music itself has a warm Hawaiian type vibe to it, and goes down smooth like a Pina Colada on the beach. The songs themselves are simple, inviting, and just relaxing to listen to.
Logging in a just over 40 minutes, Sing-a-Long kicks off with “Drive Slowly”; an upbeat melody with a Red Hot Chili Peppers rock groove to it that really gets the beach party underway. Track 2 downshifts slightly with “Everything Tonight” a sincere love ballad, perfect for a slow moonlight dance. Mattia has a youthful, rock solid look to him. He sports a fedora, complete with tattoos, sideburns, and a 5 day shadow strumming his acoustic guitar. Its obvious listening to his music and reading his lyrics, Mattia possesses more than enough passion and conventional wisdom to be extremely dangerous as an artist. On track 3: “Sing a Long” all the stars align just perfectly to deliver the title track. This is by far Mattia’s most impressive piece on the entire catalogue. “Sing-a-Long” is an impressive, flowing acoustical ballad that is both clever as much as it is well written. The chorus of “Sing-a Long” is worthy of mentioning; “I’m taking all my emotions, shaking em’ like a cocktail drink, and I put them in a glass for everybody to pass, and if they all start to sing, then I know I wrote a sing a long.” Nice touch Mattia! Sing-a-Long possesses a lot of musical variety as well. From stripped down acoustical ballads like “Candles” and “Lullaby”, to in your face ska-type songs like “Somebody Close to Me” and “Control”, Sing-a–Long delivers. At times Mattia is subdued sounding very much like a young Don Ho, while other times he has real attitude reminiscent of music from Rancid, and even Sublime. There’s even a Bob Dylan cover on this CD; track 5: “Don’t think Twice” Here Mattia’s voice and ukulele are up front and personal. Track 10 “Regret” is another strong piece combining a nice chorus build, amazing harmonies, and a catchy chorus. Mattia’s band is red hot, and I have to say the guitar work of Bubawa is one of the CD’s strong suits. Overall Mattia’s music reminds me a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers with an aftertaste of the Hawaiian Islands. The CD ends perfectly with “Good-bye Summer Good-bye”, a perfect departure piece where Mattia waves good bye to you with his voice and ukulele again. “Surfer Girl don’t forget me. I’ll be back to you next year.” Nice wrap!
Thou Mattia’s baritone works, it’s nothing special. Over time his thick Italian accent takes a major toll on the listener. Eventually you come to a place where you just roll with it. It’s impressive what this 3 piece can dish out, but at times the CD lacks depth and dimension. Mattia’s guitar player, Subawa deserves a lot of credit here. His brilliant guitar work flows and ebbs with amazing precision, grace, and musical liquidity. I have no idea who Subawa is, where he comes from, or what his real name is, but Mattia should pat him on the back for carrying his entire CD on his back. So impressive is Subawas’ guitar playing I would go so far to say that if it wasn’t for Subawas, Sing-a-Long would have a tough time staying afloat. Track 6: “Orange Flame” has a lot of potential, but misses the mark completely as it fails to build like great songs typically do. At times Mattia comes on way to strong vocally, and as a result you will find yourself getting burned out to fast, or dragged to the finish line.
Overall Sing-a Long is in itself an impressive musical production. It’s a lot fun to listen to, and best served with friends over a fresh round of Coronas. The songs themselves are consistent, clever and well crafted. As an artist Mattia clearly possess a lot or personality, wisdom, and passion. If he had an amazing voice Mattia would no doubt be well positioned to be an international sex symbol. The musical delivery of Sing-a Long will no doubt remind you of that nice 3 day weekend at the beach, hanging out with friends in your flip flops, without a care in the world. Mattia’s strong suit is his visual sex appeal, passion and songwriting abilities. Make no bones about it Mattia is a solid writer and his band compliments him very well. A tip of the hat goes to his guitarist Subawa, who delivers some of the most impressive guitar licks and soloing I have ever heard. If I could say anything to Mattia as an artist it would be – get a vocal coach, and over time chip away at that thick Italian accent of yours. Don’t be afraid to step back from the microphone, find that pocket and slowly build your songs to a strong finale. If one could meet, or even hang out with Mattia one day at the beach it would no doubt be a blast. He would eventually win you over with his acoustic guitar, passion, and Euro-charm. Eventually you would just find yourself singing along with him
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