Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Album Review: Matthew Logan Vasquez- Does What He Wants

Matthew Logan Vasquez
Does What He Wants
**** out of *****
Matthew Logan Vasquez had planned to get back with the band that exposed him to the masses, Delta Spirit, but something got in the way, these songs. On Does What He Wants the Vasquez gets personal, dramatic and most importantly, follows his muse wherever that might take him.

When his first solo album, The Solicitor Returns, came out (just last year) ti was a nervy affair filled with fuzzy guitars and energy/aggression that seemed to be lacking from his main bands recent efforts. Does What He Wants finds the singer/guitarist more comfortable in his solo surroundings and the tracks show it; he can move from a calliope tale of drunk fishing and fighting ("Red Fish") to a heart wrenching ballad of broken homes ("Tall Man") from song to song.

The disk actually starts off with the most Delta Spirit sounding track here as "Same" mixes strings, odd 80's digital funk and dance vibes with a pissed off vocal. After that though the disk becomes personal with "Fatherhood". Recently embodying that title and moving to Texas has found the songwriter growing up and that sense of moving on and being a true adult and bit at sea is found throughout the album. This phase of life has armed Vasquez with barrels of material to dig from.

"Fires Down In Mexico" has some more stomp and is reminiscent of his first solo offering as things are not neatly wrapped up at the songs vivid end while "Old Way's" works as a single with it's straight ahead swagger that draws you directly in. MLV's dramatic take can be found on three fantastic story songs, "The Fighter" feels like a personal piano ballad to a loved one (father perhaps?) while "The Informant" plays like a self contained indie film with details and mental states painted vividly. The already mentioned "Tall Man" completes the trifecta with its painful isolation in an indie rock/western way that cuts to the bone.  
On the Americana rambling of "From Behind The Glass" MLV sings "I wasn't always this strange". Thank goodness that he is at a place now where he can be weird, as this album lives up to its title; it is all over the map in an exhilarating way. It may be a bit messy, personal, and stylistically divergent, but so is life. Matthew Logan Vasquez is living it, Doing What He Wants and thankfully making great albums like this along the way.
This is a fun one, support the artist, buy the album, stream it, and peep some video below:

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