Matty James Cassidy - 'Old Souls' Album Review
1. Said & Done
2. Contradiction In Terms
4. The Art Of Falling Down
6. Leave Your Heart At Home
7. Old Souls
8. Down On My Luck
9. After All
10. Born Ancient
In the midst of a global pandemic that has changed the world, Matty James Cassidy has taken the time to further his proficient solo career, in addition to being a Dogs D’amour member and songwriting with Tyla. Before this album, we received a stripped back album called ‘The Isolation Tapes’ and an EP ‘4x4’ with an amazing cover of ‘The Race is On.’ With ‘Old Souls,’ this might be considered the next proper studio album by him and showcases his development as a performer and songwriter. Front to back, this already rates as my favorite album by him.
Cassidy covers a lot of the album on his own by providing vocals, guitars, bass, drums, percussion, and harmonica while bringing in others like Daniel Kenny for piano and organ, Bret Barnes on the sax, and a couple of guitar parts by Ben Marsden and Gary Pennick (who co-produced the album with Cassidy). The quick tempo of ‘Said And Done’ gets the album going with a jolt. These two minutes fly by with a catchy hook in the chorus and some excellent harmonica work. ‘Contradiction In Terms’ would not be out of place on a current Dogs D’amour album and features some outstanding piano work by Kenny. The open verses where the vocals move front and center work perfectly. Cassidy might not be a “world class vocalist” according to the likes of TV show judges, but he can nail a song. His vocals fit the songs perfectly with this being a great example. His voice bleeds heart and character.
The acoustic based ‘Anodyne’ has been previously released but gets an excellent opportunity to shine here. The easy going nature of the song combined with some excellent sax makes this an absolute gem on the album. ‘The Art Of Following Down’ traces its musical roots back to an earlier time where the likes of Rock 'n Roll bluesy strolls first came together. At over five minutes, this is easily the longest song on the album and should be embraced by fans of heartfelt Rock everywhere. Closing out the first half of the record, ‘Rosary’ is a bluesy rocker with some tasteful harmonica and Cassidy showcasing another element in his vocals with the lower tone sounding truly hypnotic.
Side 2, if you will, kicks off with ‘Leave Your Heart At Home, which finds Cassidy again channeling some old school Rock for another winner. Marsden provides the lead guitar on this one which will likely have you singing the chorus by the end of your first listen. ‘Old Souls’ slows the beat back down on the title track. This is another favorite as it just finds a great groove with some more tasteful sax on display. The outro to the song might be my favorite individual moment on the record. ‘Down On My Luck’ finds Pennick sharing lead guitar with Cassidy. This song is going to sound even more amazing after midnight in some bar when the world lets us return to shows. Cassidy sings with the same heart and hurt that Steve Earle had on ‘My Old Friend The Blues,’ and I do not say that lightly.
Nearing the end of this album, ‘After All’ returns to a fast tempo rocker with a beat that sounds like a train on the tracks. ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans’ says the chorus. That is so well said and really captures life. This would have been a great addition to a Dogs album too so hopefully we see Cassidy continuing to add even more to those albums too. Closing up shop is the traditional sounding ‘Born Ancient.’ Cassidy picked the perfect closer for the album as I think this song would have got lost otherwise. I can see the glasses in the air in the bar as the final toast of the evening sounds out with this one.
Matty James Cassidy has released an awesome album at a time when the world needs some awesome music. These ten songs feel like old friends that just need to played over and over again, along with his other two 2020 releases. If you have never checked him out in the past, this is the perfect time but don’t be surprised if you then find yourself grabbing all of his past work too. Now lets hit play and enjoy this all over again.
‘Old Souls’ is available now - https://mattyjamescassidy.bandcamp.com/album/old-souls
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/mattyjamescassidy
Review - Gerald Stansbury