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Released: 9th April 2001.

Matthew Jay - DrawLast year there were two big names in indie music: Coldplay and David Gray. Many bands are trying to be "this year's Coldplay," but who is "this year's David Gray?" Hopefully it will be Matthew Jay.

This is an album of beautifully crafted indie music generally similar in style to Travis, and every bit as good. Matthew effortlessly changes from emotion- filled indie ballads, to the ultimate in feel-good songs. Matthew Jay has been compared to Elliot Smith and Nick Drake - I don't know much about them, but if this is true, then Elliot and Nick must be very good.

"Four Minute Rebellion" opens the album and apart from the out-of-place swearing, it is pretty typical of the album. Before this album, "Four Minute Rebellion" was one of 3 tracks previously on EPs, obviously carefully chosen from there as it is one of the standout EP tracks. After that, comes the album's upbeat highlight - first single, "Let Your Shoulder Fall." Even if nothing else can, this is bound to put a smile on your face.

The upbeat folky, "You're Only Going Too Soon," is another contender for a single, although none of the tracks are quite as good as, "Please Don't Send Me Away." It is the current single, and a very obvious one, although the subject matter - about a guy who's done little wrong in his life trying to get into heaven, is somewhat strange.

However, "Please Don't Send Me Away" is far from alone in the emotion-filling area. Tracks like, "Remember This Feeling," "Meteorology," "Remember This Feeling," "A World Away" and the instrumental, "Molasses," are all of a similar standard and equally beautiful.

Of the other tracks, the other main upbeat track, "Call My Name Out," is an obvious choice for next single, with it's chant of "Hey na-na na-na-na-na, Hey-na-na, call my name out" and a rather Beatles-esque intro, as could "Become Yourself," with its instantly memorable chorus. Finally, "The Clearing" - it is maybe slightly poorer but is nevertheless an amazing track.

This album contains absolutely no fillers. Every track on it is amazing, and if only Matthew Jay got a bit more publicity, he could be massive. Also, having seen him (and his band) live, he is well worth seeing - if only he wasn't quite so shy!

Buy this album. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

* * * * * (matthew_dixon)

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