In my further quest for owning all Matt Nathanson items listed on Discogs, I found another gem. This Promo CD is for the song “I Saw” off his 2003 album and major label debut called ‘Beneath These Fireworks’. The song was from 2004 and sadly it didn’t chart. No real surprise as he’s never been a big radio hits guy (even though his stuff is better than radio). The album didn’t do well either and shortly after releasing his first major label debut on Universal, Universal dropped him. Such is the story of so many artists and bands.
The song was written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg and it seems to be about a break up. The two people were together and one still aches and longs for the other. It sounds like he screwed up, she broke up. He wants her back and is sorry for what he did. He wants her to save him so badly by taking him back. She’s consoling him and telling him everything will be alright, but she isn’t going to take him back. It is over. He dreams about her and can’t get her out of his head, but it doesn’t happen. They are done.
In my further quest for owning all Matt Nathanson items listed on Discogs, I found another gem. This Promo CD is for the song “Suspended” off his 2003 album and major label debut called ‘Beneath these Fireworks’. The song didn’t chart, no surprise as he’s never been a big radio hits guy (even though his stuff is better than radio). The album didn’t do well either and shortly after releasing his first major label debut on Universal, Universal dropped him. Such is the story of so many artists and bands.
The song was written by Matt Nathanson, Mark Weinberg and Eric Bazillion who you know as a founding member of the band The Hooters. The song is about being in a relationship that might not be the best relationship, but man, the sex is so good you are willing to accept anything to stay in it. You suspend belief and think that is all is great just to stay for sex despite how lost and miserable you might be. Better for some human contact than nothing at all. Now, that is one way to look at it, the other is that he is fully committed and in love, but she’s not quite there. The line, “When you pretend that I’m all that you waited for”, shows that he knows she’s not in to it anymore, just pretending. But he’s okay…he loves her and wants to stay and be together.
Another Promotional CD I found for Matt Nathanson thanks to Discogs is a “Sampler” CD for his 2003 album ‘Beneath These Fireworks’. That album was Matt’s major label debut album on Universal Records, but it wasn’t his first CD by any means. The CD was a 3 song sampler for his upcoming album and was sent around to the Radio DJs, I am assuming. The cover for the Promo is the same as the album cover, the only difference is instead of saying “Beneath These Fireworks”, it says “Sampler”.
The first song and actually the first single is “Sad Songs”. The song feels like it could be the Goo Goo Dolls. The chorus is so catchy and it has a great hook. His delivery of the lines is confident and earnest. For a song called “Sad Songs”, the music is more upbeat and gives us a great dichotomy in styles.
“Faster” is the first single off Matt Nathanson’s 2011 album ‘Modern Love’. The single in the U.S. came out on March 29, 2011 and it broke the Top 100 landing at #74…so not getting close to the Top 40 countdown. However, on the Adult Top 40 Billboard Chart, it reached #11 so the adults dug, kids…I guess not so much.
The promotional copy I found is from the U.K. and according to the note on the front, it was to be released on August, 6th, 2011. It was talking him up and the fact he was opening for Kelly Clarkson’s tour in America and Train in the U.K. Matt was heading to the U.K. to do his own set of shows. That Kelly Clarkson show was the one my oldest daughter and I caught at their Fox Theater, Atlanta stop. My brother-in-law, Ryan, worked with both Kelly and Matt in that year so we got free tickets to the show and ended up meeting Matt that evening and getting autographs and pictures. He was a truly stand-up guy with the way he treated my daughter. He made her feel that she was the most important girl in the room when he talked to her. Really cool.
Now that I’ve collected all of Matt Nathanson’s studio and live albums on CD and vinyl, I have moved on to collecting all the promo CDs that were sent to radio DJ’s around the globe. I have been using eBay and Discogs to track those down and I have a pretty good start and hope to finish by year end. This one here is a really cool one in that it not only has the studio version of one of my favorite Matt Nathanson songs, “Come On Get Higher”, but it also has an unreleased acoustic version of the song. Yes, please!!
The single was released on February 11, 2008 and only reached #59 on the Billboard Top 100, but did go to #9 on the Adult Top 40 as well as #3 on the Adult Contemporary and Adult Alternative Songs charts. It went to Platinum status selling over 3,000,000 copies…not bad! The song was written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg and a really cool bit of info as you can see below is that the first track was mixed by my brother-in-law, Ryan Williams which makes the song even better!!
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.
In my quest for Matt Nathanson music I don’t have, I found another E.P. in my hunts. This one is called ‘Plus’ and was a promotional CD and released on October 14, 2003 which is the same date as his 2003 album ‘Beneath the Fireworks’. That album is the one I feel where Matt was finding his voice as both a singer and a songwriter. It is from this point on that his writing develop and went to another level. The stories were so much better and his vocals were hitting on another level. This is also around the time I started to discover his music and it would suck me in.
There were 3 songs on this album and all were recorded live and done acoustically. Two of the songs were off the album ‘Beneath the Fireworks’ and was from his debut album ‘Please’ from 1993 which was a collection of songs he wrote in high school and college. Lets go through the songs, shall we.
The first song is “Lucky Boy” which was off the album ‘Beneath the Fireworks’ but originally was off his 1999 album ‘Still Waiting for Spring’. It was recorded live on August 20, 2003 at Ned’s Studio. Now I don’t know who Ned is but apparently he has a studio. The song was written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg and is done acoustically like I mentioned earlier. It features Matt Fish on Cello which is a really cool acoustic element to add. The song is about a friendship where the boy wanted more and was always there for her to comfort her at every turn. She treated him like a rug and walked all over him. He feels it is a cruel world, but he was still lucky to be with her and in her presence despite it never going anywhere he wanted it to go.
In my endless search for music I don’t have by Matt Nathanson, I always get excited when I find something that I didn’t actually have and this is one of those items. In 2007, Matt released a promotional E.P. on CD called ‘Slow, But Speeding’ for his upcoming 2007 album ‘Some Mad Hope’. I have that album, so why is this E.P. worth getting if it is a promo of the album is something you might ask and I will tell you . There are 3 songs on here and they are all acoustic versions of the new songs on the albums. This one is not extremely rare to get and not overly pricey either which makes it even better. The songs were recorded at Play Records in San Francisco, CA and they are stripped down to their bare essence with just an acoustic guitar and Matt.
The first track is “Gone” as well as the songs on here are written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg. What I love about Matt is when he sings he really feels the songs. They feel personal to him and a part of him and that is even more prevalent when he does them acoustic. This one has Matt giving up on love after his most recent heartbreak. He is really aching and feels so lost and you can hear the heartache.
For My Sunday Song #216, we are going to explore the song “Room at the End of the World” by Matt Nathanson. The song is off his stellar 2011 album, ‘Modern Love’ and it was the 2nd single off the album. Although I don’t think the song charted, the album did debut at #17 on the Billboard charts. The fact that it didn’t chart is no surprise as Matt has never been a darling of public radio. His songs are way too good for radio as they are well crafted masterpieces and lyrical poems about life and he is pure talent unlike the bozos on radio. No, I am not biased…okay…yes I am. You got me!
I think the song is talking about being with the one you love and nothing to take away that fact. Even if the world was ending, you two would get a room and make the best of what was to come. I love how the song talks about how he was lost and had given up on love until he found “The One”. The One that makes him whole, The One that he will be with until the end of time, The One true love. There is line that says “one heart is never enough alone” and I don’t think it is saying you have to be someone to be whole, I think it is saying that he never felt complete until he found her (or him). His lyrical phrasing is always so eloquent and so beautiful. He doesn’t sing a love song in the same cliched way other songs do.
Musically, the song is an upbeat, feel-good song that dances along with its ups and downs the same way we go through life. The drum beats towards the end are your heart beating as the love builds and the song keeps promising to deliver more and does just that as the final choruses are sung with all his heart and the music is full of life and love.