For My Sunday Song #218, we are going to discuss the song “Used to Be” by Matt Nathanson off his album ‘Sings His Sad Heart’ that was released on October 5, 2018 just a couple short years ago. The album is one of my favorites as it is one of the saddest albums you will ever hear, but the music doesn’t necessarily match that sadness. They are a beautiful contradiction.
“Used to Be”, however, is not that contradiction. The music and lyrics are both sad although that sadness is more nostalgia. The singer is looking back about an old flame and he is missing her so much. He is letting her know that if she is starting to forget those memories, he can help her remember. Basically, the person he is jonesing for has completely moved on, but he can’t move forward. He is stuck in the past. There is a line in the song that is so brilliant and one of the coolest lines I’ve ever read…
And if you’re having trouble, baby, holding on to memories
I’ve got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be
“King-sized be and a PH.D. in the way it used to be”, I don’t know…it just sounds so perfect. This part of the chorus just sinks in and grabs you and is so memorable, you can’t help but sing along and it starts to feel like an old friend you’ve known forever. Matt has a way of writing that sounds so familiar and comfortable. He writes for the everyday person and although his stuff is so personal to him, it is the same thing everyone else is feeling or have felt at some time in the life.
Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Used to Be” by Matt Nathanson”
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.
Continue reading “Matt Nathanson – The Albums Ranked Worst to First”
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2018 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2018
Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart: Man, what can I say about this guy. He is my favorite singer/songwriter out their right now and has been for sometime. Within just a couple listens to this album I felt like I knew all the words and I was singing right along like I had grown up with these songs. And how do you know an album is great, you keep singing it when you aren’t even listening to it. Yes, I was and I am still singing. The songs “Mine”, “Way Way Back”, “Used To Be” “Long Distant Runner” and “Best Drugs” are some of my favorites but there is not a bad song. Perfect!!
Continue reading “The Top Albums of 2018”
Matt Nathanson is one of my all time favorite singers and songwriters, no doubt. If I had to list my Top 10 Bands or Artists, Matt would be there along with Kiss and Def Leppard (if you follow me, you know I love those two bands so that is high praise). Why do I love him and his music so much? Well, this album is a shining example of why.
Speaking of the album, this album took a long journey. No, not Matt writing and recording it. A literal long journey. The album was shipped Friday October 5th (the day of release) from Nashville, Tennessee. It stated it would not be to me until Thursday, October 11th which I thought was strange as North Carolina is not that far from Tennessee (well not really far). When I looked up the tracking #, the package suddenly appeared in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Now I am not great on geography, but San Juan isn’t anywhere near North Carolina the last time I checked and doesn’t seem the normal traffic route for a package. Needless to say, it din’t arrive by the 11th as stated. The USPS finally corrected themselves and I did receive it on Saturday, October 13th. It could be worse, I might not have ever received it.
‘Sings His Sad Heart’ is exactly that. An album of songs that are about “loss”. Sounds depressing, right? It is far from it. Matt’s pop sensibility is second to none. He can write an album chock full of catchy tunes that stay with you and never leave. His mixture of that pop sound with folk and rock blends so nicely together that his music makes you feel like you have known the songs and the album your whole life.
Continue reading “Matt Nathanson – ‘Sings His Sad Heart’ – Album Review”