Matthew Dear | Black City

Ghostly International (2010)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  August 18, 2010
4.0 4.0 Stars


This week, Matthew Dear is Matthew Dear. Next week, the man of many aliases may be serving up brooding anthems under his Audion moniker, or unraveling rolling minimal techno as False. But for now, he's back to just Matthew. And we can be thankful for that, because it's under his given name that he releases his most personal work.

That's not to discount the danceability of this album — the whooshing synths and syncopated drum kicks take care of that. Rather, it's with his homonymous releases that he opts to stretch his vocal cords — though stretch may be the wrong word. It's more like slather, as he croons sultry instructions that would make R. Kelly blush. The lyrical immediacy and intimacy lift Black City leagues above much of the disassociated drivel that's labeled vocal house.

Take the obvious centerpiece, "Little People (Black City)": the track kicks off at an undulating warp speed and moves onward and upward, building the lyrical fortitude on top of the bass line until eventually he's urging us to love him "like a clown." I'm not sure what that means, but with music this sexy, does it matter?

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