Review – Matt Forbes

Album: Solitary Man
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Genre: Pop/Jazz

Matt Forbes has officially released his full-length studio album, Solitary Man. Now available, the album boasts 13 amazing tracks that range from everything to the Great American Songbook, and even iconic artists such as U2, and Gorillaz. The album’s first lead single “Cry Me a River” was released in September and took on a new big-band, James Bond 007 style. Forbes’ version of the Arthur Hamilton classic shows us right from the first track that you’re dealing with some serious musical passion and talent. Conceived by Forbes, Solitary Man also included the talents of British arranger Callum Au and the musical direction of producer/engineer Nicholai Baxter.

Forbes dug deep to find some of the greatest songs ever written to bring new life to on this project. With songs from many generations and many genres, Forbes ensures that he revives classics and reintroduces some great songs to his audience. Thinking well outside the box, Forbes reimagines songs and creates new melodies and arrangements that one would never expect to hear when thinking of the original versions or the original artists of these songs. There is no reason at all to compare Forbes versions to the original recordings of some of these songs, as he has made them entirely as his own.

Solitary Man opens with “Cry Me a River.” The song was first made famous in 1955 by Julie London and even the great Ella Fitzgerald released her version on Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! in 1961. Forbes takes the song into a cool and classy direction with its 007 style. Using the best of his vocal abilities, Forbes is able to make the song his own and create a musical atmosphere that you want to get lost in.

Forbes also takes standards such as; “I Wanna Be Around,” “The Best Is Yet To Come,” “Angel Eyes,” “The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “Rainin’” and makes them his. Throughout the album and including the title track “Solitary Man” which was originally composed by Neil Diamond, Forbes shows of his rich and smooth vocals with ease. Forbes’ vocal abilities are strong and run consistently throughout the album from start to finish. There is no need to compare Forbes to fellow Canadian artists who often dabble in the same musical style as Forbes because he stands alone with his unique arrangements and creative passion.

In 1918, Marion Harris had a hit with a song called “After You’ve Gone” written by Turner Layton and Henry Creamer. The song has since passed through the talents of Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Anne Murray, and now we have Forbes’ version of this iconic tune. Forbes has a knack for turning a song inside out and creating an arrangement to make you think that you have never heard it before. Forbes’ tackles U2’s “With Or Without You,” Rod Stewart’s “Some Guy’s Have All The Luck,” and the Gorillaz “On Melancholy Hill” and brings them into a whole new generation and level redefining the term “Vintage Pop.

Solitary Man is available through most major music retailers including; Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes. Forbes promised that Solitary Man would be “even bolder” and go in “unexpected directions.” Forbes delivered a great album living up to his promise. Solitary Man has a little jazzy something for everyone.

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