Album review: Virginia Avenue - Matt Langley

JAMES BELFIELD
Last updated 05:00 25/05/2013
Virginia Avenue - Matt Langley
Virginia Avenue - Matt Langley

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VIRGINIA AVENUE
Matt Langley
(Rhythmethod)

The Dunedin-based singer-songwriter's follow-up to 2011's Featherbones drifts a little right from the get-go and is hardly an uplifting offering.

That said, it hits its strides midway through (thanks in no small part to Riki Gooch's deft production skills), there's few better lyricists in the country right now, some of the poppier country tracks have quirkily catchy arrangements and the all-star cast of local musicians including Gooch (Trinity Roots, Eru Dangerspiel), Tom Callwood (The Phoenix Foundation) and Tom Watson (Cassette, Fly My Pretties) makes for a highly polished album.

There's hints (the heavier alt country-waltz Ghost Wanted and loose-but-choppy Unto the Ends of this Earth) that Langley's threatening to break into Ryan Adams or Bernard Fanning territory but there's a feeling that a few tracks could have been culled to better highlight these undoubtedly great songs.

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