Reviewed by Michael
I can certainly see after listening to Toronto singer-songwriter Matt Henderson’s latest album why my good friends in the Passengers rave about him so much.
People with Places to Go is a nine-track offering that clocks in at around fourty minutes, a thoroughly enjoyable fourty minutes to be a tad more specific. The album cover itself I think is very representative of the album’s title, showcasing old photographs and paper planes. Even the songs on the album convey the theme very well. I felt as I listened to the songs that each one was a sort of story in its own, a flashback to a happy time.
To be honest, I was very surprised by the opening song, “Accidents Happen.” I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but what was delivered to me set the tone very well for my listening experience. At first the song almost seems like a church hymn because of what appears to be an organ sound, but it turns out to be a grandiose song that seems to touch on forgiveness. Henderson’s voice was also a very pleasant surprise, as it was so pure and on-tune I couldn’t believe my ears.
The album continues on from there, with the atmosphere given off mostly what I would call subdued happiness. The songs he sings are generally touching on the feelings that one has when they are spending time with the one they love, made obvious by two track names “Lovemuffin” and “We’vegotsomuchlovetoshare!”. The rhythm of the songs is generally a little slower, but I find it effective in conveying the nostalgic feel that I mentioned earlier. As I listened and listened I could almost imagine black and white rolls of film playing old home movies, and it was a very interesting feeling to experience through music.
There are a few songs where Henderson’s vocals are only a part of, such as “Bonecrusher” and the title track “People with Places to Go” but he manages to pull of just the right combination of acoustic guitar riffs, synths and percussion to make the time spent not listening to vocals very worthwhile. It is the synths and percussion that make Henderson’s album somewhat unique amongst the singer-songwriter genre. While most people in this style of music can pull of nice, simple melodies with their guitars. Henderson takes it one step further with great success.
The only minor complaint I can make about this is that there isn’t really a song that is truly upbeat, but People with Places to Go is still a fantastic piece of music and can be purchased either at his shows or on iTunes.
Top tracks: “Accidents Happen”, “”If I was a Number and you were a Name”, “We’vegotsomuchlovetoshare!”
3.5 Hoots (out of 4) + *swoop*