Artist Spotlight

Review: Matthew Logan Vasquez, “Solicitor Returns”

No Comments 7 February 2016

Review: Matthew Logan Vasquez, “Solicitor Returns”

Solicitor Returns is a wonderfully wild ride from beginning to end, an album that captures Vasquez in all his dangerously brilliant glory as a potent and compelling songwriter. This is an impossibly good album that allows Vasquez to explore all facets of his own creativity with a spontaneity and seemingly joyous freedom.”

Artist: Matthew Logan Vasquez

Album: Solicitor Returns

Genre: Rock / Folk

RIYL: Delta Spirit, Stereophonics, Ryan Adams

Matthew Logan Vasquez - Solicitor Returns

Matthew Logan Vasquez literally has songs burning a hole in his pocket. The fiery frontman of Delta Spirit is a prolific songwriter, so the wait between the band’s records and the need for a break following an extensive touring schedule created an opportunity to give life to previously unreleased tracks. Vasquez quickly establishes his presence in this truly solo outing, performing every instrumental and vocal line save for a few on his debut solo LP Solicitor Returns. The result is a powerful performance that elevates his songwriting and vocal work in a very personal and vulnerable way.

“Maria” follows the instrumental title track, showcasing a now signature lyricism that shines even bright on this record: “I can’t find mother Maria/ Am I lost in Santaria?/ I will do anything as long as I can see her.” Then “Personal” sounds like freedom feels, an uninterrupted and frenetic expression of feeling unencumbered. It’s a brightly lit, driving rock song that captures that wildly satisfying energy Vasquez always brings to the stage. It has the feeling of being “caught on tape” rather than overplanned and meticulously orchestrated. And the segueway straight into the gorgeous “I Bet It All,” an anthemic track wrapped up in classic rock and choir harmonies shows the versatility and breadth of Vasquez’ influences.

“Everything I Do Is Out” was a lead track from the record, and it’s a doozy. Much like “Stand Up” this track feels like it was captured in one or two takes. The energy is infectious, and Vasquez just shoots the lights out vocally. This has become his trademark over the years, but this feels unfiltered and almost unhinged at times in the most glorious way. Then we hear him deliver the stunner of the album, “Bound to Her,” over a simple background and the intensity is palpable. This track feels spare and cuts straight to the lyrics relying only on Vasquez to do what he does best, use that distinctive voice to tell a story.

Solicitor Returns is a wonderfully wild ride from beginning to end, an album that captures Vasquez in all his dangerously brilliant glory as a potent and compelling songwriter. This is an impossibly good album that allows Vasquez to explore all facets of his own creativity with a spontaneity and seemingly joyous freedom. Without the Delta Spirit group dynamic we hear his songs in a familiar voice, but in an undiluted and singularly focused package. This albums burns brightly, all passion, emotion and raw power. What a fantastic thing to witness. 


Matthew Logan Vasquez: https://matthewloganvasquez.wordpress.com/

 

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