Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

I like to find Promo CDs. I’m not sure why as usually there is nothing new on them, but I think it is for the fact the cover is usually not the same as the album and it is a cool piece that was used to promote the upcoming albums and/or songs. So, when I saw this I had to have it. It is a Promotional CD for the upcoming Soto album in 2009 of ‘Beautiful Mess’. The top corner of the sleeve says it is from Promotional Use Only and This CD Cannot be Sold…well…it was…to me!

The CD contains two songs from the album, “21st Century” and “Gin & Tonic Sky”. Not only that, it has the two promotional videos that were shot for those songs as well. If you have the 2 CD version of the album, like I do, you already have these videos, but if you don’t, then this is cool to have as well. Let’s talk through the two songs.

The album kick off with “21st Century” which is a rocking, guitar driven track, however, Jeff’s vocals are more funky and there are modern electronic elements as well. The chorus though is as catchy as you’d expect as he knows how to have a little hook to make you sing along. It isn’t a typical Soto sound as that album saw Jeff stretch his wings a little and try other things. The song is a little left of center and yet it works and is a great start to the album with its high energy and all around fun sound. Sometimes its okay to try new things.

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Matt Nathanson – “I Saw” – CD Promotional Single

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.

Yes, it has a cracked case!!

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.

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Matt Nathanson – ‘Sampler’ – Promotional CD

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.

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Matt Nathanson – “Room @ the End of the World” – CD Promotional Single

In my further quest for owning all Matt Nathanson items listed on Discogs, I found another gem. This Promo CD is for “Room at the End of the World” by Matt Nathanson which 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!

The song was written by Matt Nathanson and Mark Weinberg. I believe the song is talking about being with the one you love and nothing can stop you. 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 with 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.

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Matt Nathanson- “Kinks Shirt” – Promotional CD

“Kinks Shirt” by Matt Nathanson is off his 2013 album, ‘Last of the Great Pretenders’ and in July of that year he released this song as a video and a single.  It was one of the fun songs on the album that shows he isn’t all heartbreak and sadness and that sometimes he can be a good mood or at least sound like he is. According to the Promo CD, the UK Single was going to be released on January 13th, 2014, but they scratched through it and said to “focus” on the song on February 10th. It gives a brief history of Matt to help sell him as an artist. What is really cool about this Promo CD is that Discogs does not even list it as an item in Matt’s discography. It has a ton of his other promo CDs, but not this one. I always love it when I find something that is not on Discogs!!

The song was actually inspired by an actual girl that was wearing a Kinks Shirt.  You know The Kinks, who doesn’t love The Kinks?  No one, that is who.  While recording the album, Matt and his producer and band mates would visit this diner quite frequently, I mean like every day for lunch.  There was a girl that worked there with tattoos and piercings and nothing like someone that Matt would normally be attracted to maybe, but someone he was obsessed with.  Not in a crazy stalker way, but more fantasizing way.  He was so mesmerized by her that she inspired this song.

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