Mojo, February 2005
Since leaving nerd-pop idols weezer in 1998 and letting his moderately successful side project The Rentals fall by the wayside, Matt Sharp has been in
apparent hibernation, a period of contemplation that has resulted in this dreamy solo record.
Kicking up a dust cloud to obscure the collegiate bounce of his early life, he heads into the wistful wilds of Americana, 'Goodbye West
Coast' and 'Thoughts From A Slow Train' giving a lullabying sense of on-the-road movement ("Hazy day/Making my way somewhere on the motor
highway"). Yet this is a deeply introspective record, gentle piano, muffled vocals, mild distortions and sudden hushes giving the impression
Sharp would pick his own world over the outside one any day.
3/5 - Victoria Segal, www.mojo4music.com
PixelSurgeon, January 2005
If the word Weezer instantly conjures up a catchy American indie-guitar tune, then the chances are that this solo adventure travelled by the bassist
of said respected group will take you by surprise.
Regardless of his previous excursions, Matt Sharp has produced a delicious 11-track journey for us to experience. One that doesn't sound anything
like the bands we know him from, and as introspective and honest as an album from any self-respecting singer-songwriter needs to be. If you've not
quite settled into 2005 just yet, then this might be the ticket. It's non aggressive, unassuming, even slightly unkempt, yet endearing to the last...
read the full review...
7/10 - Sam Gilbey, www.pixelsurgeon.com
Sound Nation, January 2005
Ten years after exploding into the music world's collective consciousness with Weezer's The Blue Album, Matt Sharp returns after a self-imposed exile
with an introspective, altogether more subtle, eponymous album.
The music is a dramatic departure from previous releases, stemming from Sharp's own change in musical preferences - toning down the pop/rock stylings of
previous work, replacing hooky riffs with thoughtful lyrics and soothing melodies. Stemming from, in Matt's own words, "a strange and dark time" in his
life, this album is packed with raw emotion and soul searching.
Cardiff-based Split Records have pulled of a coup here. This is an album that shuns the commercial qualities of Sharp's previous output but has every
intention of being a permanent fixture in the collections of appreciative listeners.
Doug Nicholls, www.soundnation.net
NME, 27 November 2004
Ex-geekster pop star with Weezer, ex-punk-rap-electro-rocker with The Rentals, now Matt Sharp turns to the only genre besides skiffle he hasn't
tried - nu-gaze! Sprinkled with glitch-glitter, it's easily the loveliest record ever made by anyone involved with 'Buddy Holly'.
Rock Sound, February 2005
For anyone who loves The Rentals and Weezer, the news that Matt Sharp (bassist and frontman of the former and founding member of the latter)
has gone solo should provide excitement.
But this isn't anything like what you'll be expecting. where are the bubbling melodies, the bright colours and the goofy specs? In the bin.
It seems. Matt's shifted into black and white, taking his acoustic guitar, pointed observations and Bob Dylan collection with him. These bare
rambles through isolated American towns skip and swoon, twinkle and soar. They're the hay dancing on deserted highways, the plastic bags taking
flight from mall car parks. Songs like the instrumental 'After The Angels' and the lilting 'Goodbye West Coast' show a man embracing his past but
also trying to forge a way ahead: a Generation X-er growing up and discovering an enchanting new voice.
7/10 - Mike Haydock, www.rock-sound.net
Uncut, January 2005
Solo debut from former Weezer/Rentals man - several years in the pipeline.
When a former accomplice of Rivers Cuomo calls a song "No More West Coast", one guesses he's throwing himself down a gauntlet. All those geek chic
royalties from The Blue LP and Pinkerton, not to mention having famous pals like Damon Albarn, clearly didn't bring Matt happiness. Instead he's gone
down the alt.folk/country route, with minimal support from soundscaper Josh Hager and guitarist Greg Brown. The songs evoke the essence of Niel, the
Velvets and Dylan, yet stand alone in the well-developed regret stakes. Maybe Matt's a Terry Jacks for 2005.
4/5 - Max Bell, www.uncut.net
Q, 4 January 2005
Wistful offering from former Weezer and Rentals man
Matt Sharp's first solo record will come as a shock to fans of his former bands' punky pop. Inspired by retreating to a tiny town called Leipers Fork
in Tennessee, and what he calls "a strange, dark time", he has fashioned a lovely exercise in melancholia. With fragile vocals whispering over acoustic
guitars, these dreamy ruminations onloss and small redemptions get samey, but conjure a lonely mood, Sharp coming on like a bruised friend, giving solace
to the sensitive.
Gary Mullholland, www.q4music.com
Subba-Cultcha, 1 December 2004
Considering that my knowledge of Weezer doesn't go much further than uber-single Buddy Holly, I had absolutely no idea of what to expect from Matt Sharp.
Thankfully, the ex-Weezer bassist and front man of The Rentals, Sharp's self titled solo album is a quietly gorgeous affair...
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