For My Sunday Song #219, we are discussing a song called “Modern Love” by Matt Nathanson. The song is the title track on his album ‘Modern Love’ which was released on June 21, 2011. This song was the fourth single off the album and though it didn’t chart it is still a shining light on this album.
What I love about this song is it cynicism. The song seems to be inspired by the “hook-up” culture of the younger generation. This poor girl is tired of “all of these salesmen” who are serving up lie after lie. She is tired of no one wanting to be committed to anything. She is done with it, no more sleeping around, no more bullshit and she is just plain done. I love the line…“Oh this modern love is a taco truck”…Matt stated in an interview that the line is about the fact people stand there and eat the food without actually sitting down and enjoying the meal which is how people are treating relationships. With Tinder and other disappointing apps, it is a fast food world of relationships. I believe he is spot on.
Musically, the song is an upbeat, pop song that is full of life and joy even though the lyrics aren’t truly happy thoughts. That is one of the joys of Matt’s music is that the lyrics and music often contradict themselves. The music is full of bouncy keyboard/horn sounds, a nice danceable groove and some simple guitar playing that all blends together in to a happy musical experience.
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.
For My Sunday Song #211, we are tackling the first in our 10 song set of Matt Nathanson songs. I’m starting the series out with my favorite track and that is “Run”. The song features Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush of Sugarland. The song is off his 2011 album, ‘Modern Love’ and was released as single, but only reached #53 on the Billboard Hot 100 which baffles me.
The song is not a country song even though Sugarland are on it. No! This is a sensual, oh so sexy, love song. The lyrics are dirty with lines like “You come in waves” and “Then Swallow me whole” as well as “And I watch it explode”. At the same time they are sexy with lines like “You pull me in close / And buckle my knees” and “You trace my lines / Stirring my soul”. And then they are heartwarming with a line like “I’m amazing when you’re beside me / I am so much more”. This song speaks to me and reminds me of my lovely bride and when I hear this song, I think of only her! Each and every time.
Now here is the problem. The song I think is more about an affair than love. The lyrics talk about running back to this person. The man says he knows that it’s wrong but he can’t help it and he always goes back to her. Personally, I ignore that part and think of it more as a passionate love affair with my wife. Either way, you can’t help but love the song.
As you know if you follow this site at all, I am a Matt Nathanson fan. I think he is a fantastic songwriter/singer and an all around marvelous person. I have seen him live only three times and each time he keeps getting better. His live shows are something you have to see as his banter with the crowd is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!! He is witty, funny and damn, the man can sing. Matt is also a lyrical painter. He pays so much attention to the lyrical phrasing that it paints such a vivid picture or touches you in ways that only music can do.
Matt Nathanson, the studio musician, is broken down in two categories for me. The 90’s Matt is is an indie rocker that is still trying to find his voice both lyrically and vocally. But the shades of what is to come is in dimly shining in there. Then there is the Matt of 2000’s that has seen his songwriting and singing grow by leaps and bound. He has a confidence that shows in his music and definitely shows when he is on stage. There are those that find his early stuff more raw and pure and it is that, but as you will see with the list, I find his 2000’s self to be the better half.
So, you now have my overall reasoning behind my picks and with that, we need to dive in and rank Matt Nathanson’s albums from The Worst to the one I think is First! And sorry I don’t have all his albums in the Header photo as the site I use only offers 8 frames otherwise I would have had all 10 included.
THE WORST – PLEASE (1993):
Now here is the good news, there really isn’t a bad choice among all the albums, this is all about preference. I have this as the Worst mainly because it is an album with a rough production and Matt’s vocals aren’t quite what they become. And yes I do know that these are mostly demos thus the explaining the quality. The cool thing about it is that the songs were all written while he was in high school or during his freshman year at Pitzer College in California. There are hints of the Matt I grew to love, but it is the one album I go to the least.