Matthew Logan Vasquez

Light'n Up (Dine Alone)

Texas Platters

Two solo albums already logged, Matthew Logan Vasquez punches in ambitious and exploratory on Light'n Up. The ex-Texan examines his heartland heart from across the Atlantic, with his new Norwegian lodgings name-checked on the LP finale. Pointillistic touches like somber, sitar-like bass runs and Parisian accordions elevate tales of growing pains, working blues, and fatherhood in traversing places the Delta Spirit frontman's solo catalog does not: to a sound beyond white middle America. Of course, shaking influence tasks tough when a whole rock generation or two sits on your shoulders. Voice refracting truly Tweedy-esque on "I Love My Boy," "Trailer Park" sounds ripped straight from an Eighties Springsteen B-side. History heeds many a worse crime, but Vasquez's chops prove he's no wannabe fanboy. Light'n Up strides in sophistication and thematic cohesion, with only one or two steps out of bounds.

***


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