One great thing about Matt Nathanson (there are a lot) is that he has been releasing E.P.s in between albums to keep his fans happy. Last year we got the absolutely incredible Def Leppard covers E.P. called ‘Pyromattia’ which was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Now he brings us another covers E.P. titled ‘Postcards (from Chicago)’.
Matt took some time while in Chicago to put together another covers release. There are 6 songs from quite a diverse group of artists which makes it a very interesting release. Here is the track list…
- Same Drugs (feat. Patrick Stump) – original by Chance the Rapper
- Perfect World – original by Liz Phair
- Hum Hallelujah – original by Fall Out Boy
- Surrender (feat. Richard Marx) – original by Cheap Trick
- Hold On to the Nights – original by Richard Marx
- Whiskey Bottle – original by Uncle Tupelo
The album is out now on digital and I have ordered it on Vinyl which I am waiting on as of this write-up. It will have an autographed postcard of Chicago and be on a really cool looking Orange Vinyl and should look like this…
One thing that is cool about this release is that he features two singers, Patrick Stump and Richard Marx, who sing on two different songs and then he covers one of each of their songs. Pretty cool.
The first song is “Same Drugs” originally by Chance the Rapper and I have to say that Chance’s song is pretty good. Matt keeps true to the original keeping it fairly stripped down and has Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy assisting with the background vocals and helps with the chorus. The song is about two people growing apart and there is a great Peter Pan reference in the song. I think this one works pretty darn good.
Up next is Liz Phair’s “Perfect World” which is done on piano with just Matt’s vocals. It is a little slow and dull for me although lyrically it is incredible. I just feel it was lacking a little Matt spin on it that makes it his own.
“Hum Hallelujah” by Fall Out Boy is up next. Matt strips it down from the upbeat version FOB does. This one has that Matt magic and sounds like it could be his song. When he does this, he hits a homerun. I think I like this version better than Fall Out Boys, sorry Patrick Stump. It is light, upbeat and gives me good feels.
Next we have Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” with Richard Marx assisting with the vocals. They slow it down to an acoustic song, but you can hear that this song wants to burst out in to its rock roots. Richard Marx sings the second verse and dang he can still sing. Matt’s version is a nice slowed-down version and although lacks the punch of the original, you can still feel its heart.
Now it’s Richard Marx’s turn to have his song covered and the one Matt chose is a favorite of mine with “Hold On to the Night”. Matt makes the song even sadder than the original by playing it acoustically. He can’t capture that Richard vocal perfectly, but he doesn’t need to as he has his own sound. He takes it in to a darker place which adds a whole new beauty to it.
The last song is by Uncle Tupelo called “Whiskey Bottle”. I am unfamiliar with this version or the band so I checked it out. It is a really cool, gritty song. Matt doesn’t quite capture that essence, but he does turn it in to his own song and sound which I found to be quite wonderful. If I didn’t know it was a cover, I would think he wrote it.
All-in-all it is a pretty good effort. I don’t like it as much as ‘Pyromattia’, but I do like the variety of artists chosen which was interesting to say the least. Not all songs were strong, but they weren’t terrible either. Matt does a great job stripping the songs down to their essence and putting his own spin on them (except for “Perfect World”). I would score the album a 3.5 out 5.0 Stars. The more I listen, the more I enjoy so that score could change, but it is still lacking that little extra to take it over the top.
Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think.