It had been three years since Matt had released a full studio album, and in November 2002, he finally released a 5 song E.P. titled ‘When Everything Meant Everything’ on an indie label called Acrobat. Within a year, Matt would finally sign his first major label record contract and he would release ‘Beneath the Fireworks’ on Universal. Three of the five songs on this E.P. would appear on that album, however, they would be completely different mixes which makes this E.P. really cool for fans as 2 songs were never released on an album and the other 3 are previously unreleased original mixes. Yes please, I’ll take a copy!! All the song were written by Matt Nathanson and his writing partner at the time Mark Weinberg.
The first track is “Pretty the World” which would be on ‘Beneath the Fireworks’ but this version is over 30 seconds longer due in part to a soft acoustic opening that is omitted from the album version which is to its detriment because I like that part. And the end of the song fades out more and again I think makes a better version. The song is a high energy pop song about him being with a woman that sees life through a beautiful perspective and he wants to see the world through her eyes. It is a contagious song that sees Matt developing in to a great singer/songwriter as his confidence as certainly grown since his last studio album 3 year prior.
“Fall to Pieces” is a standout track for two reasons. One, this is the only place you can the studio version and two, I love the energy of the song, the acoustic guitars sound great and it is such a catchy song. With a great melody, it is simply an enjoyable listen. Matt was really growing in to his own. The song is about a girl he worked so hard to get and she came to her senses the were a couple, but he soon realized she loved him more than he loved her and he was ready to leave her. He was wondering if she would fall to pieces if he left.
The next track, “Princess”, is also unique to this release. A typical Matt pop song but I love how the song feels upbeat and happy, but it is not. The word “princess” is not used endearingly here. It is a derogatory term about a girl that is truly beautiful on the outside and everyone is drawn to her, but she is not that nice of person. He is mocking her and making fun of her by calling her that name. The song has a nice driving beat and the drums are a big part of what I like musically, but it is Matt’s lyric delivery that puts the song over the top.
“Weight of if All” is up next and here it is a full on acoustic song while the studio album version that comes later is a full band song with drums and all. I like the simplicity to the song here, it really focuses on the lyrics and story behind the song. The song is sad and so is the music. It seems to be about a guy that is been hurt a lot and the woman is walking all over him which I get from the line “I spend days stupid/ Nailed to your floor” and I love that. It is that type of writing that makes Matt special to me.
The final track is “Bent” and the two versions don’t differ greatly as the tone is kept consistent. The biggest change is the guitar sound and the one here is acoustic which I’m not sure the studio album version is. Another sad song as he does right a lot of those, but this one is a little more upbeat in the tempo than the last song, but not by much. The song is about a very selfish girl. He is wondering if he would have bent over backwards for her, would it have changed anything. I think he is being rhetorical because he knows the answer is no.
And there you have it. A nice 5 song E.P. that really sees Matt’s writing starting to come in to his own. He is finding his voice which he does even more on the next full length album ‘Beneath the Fireworks’. Here you get 2 tracks that are not on any other release and 3 that end up on the next album, but are remixed or even redone. So all five tracks here are unique and stellar at the same time. It is an E.P. that is still available on his website and pretty cheap. Grab it if you can as you want these five songs. My Overall Score is easy a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars…one star for each song!! Thanks for stopping by and see you real soon.