By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Matt Boroff’s The Grand Delusion: only the title sounds like Styx (not a bad thing!)
I have to admit, I was worried that my first album review for Rock At Night was going to be about a band copying Styx. Nothing wrong with Styx, but tribute bands don’t usually put out albums!
Not to worry though, the first few notes of title song “The Grand Delusion” let me know that, though the theme might be similar, the song was not. If it reminded me of anyone else, it would be master songster Leonard Cohen collaborating with Godsmack, with some hints of 1960s psychedelia thrown in nothing I’d heard before, but something I could dream of.
The second song, “Pipe Dream’ follows the theme but with a different take, more hook-laden and faster-paced but with some of the same ethereal feel.
“What a Shame” digs deeper and heavier, more anthemic and what Alice Cooper might sound like if he sang for Five Finger Death Punch, heavy riffs lending a martial feel. It’s no surprise the song was chosen to be the first video for the album:
Followed up with “Behind Your Mask” it’s almost like he’s changing direction, a softer take but listen to the lyrics closely: This is a song about the humanity behind the political chaos of today.
“Hang On” brings us back to a heavier beat with a message about surviving in today’s dangerous time, paying attention to what’s important and warning against choosing easy scapegoats.
We are all afflicted by the “Modern Plagues” that lie just around the edges of our senses represented by an almost-instrumental song with indistinct voices echoing in the background.
“Dissolve” may be the most straightforward love song on the album, with “I just wanna’ dissolve myself in you” a romantic line in a song about giving support to the one he loves when she is suffering and faced with sorrow. Wouldn’t be out of place on a Michael Buble album, but it has Matt’s fingerprints all over it.
“Thirst” is another love song, but in a different vein, not a slow dance song (more a mosh pit) but still a song about surrendering to another, putting the weapons away and slaking an unquenchable thirst.
Temptation is the obvious theme of “Siren Song” – but not the temptations of love, or even lust, but the temptations of other passions that lead to war and violence. There’s an easy to miss clue in “the drones of war” but it’s there.
“Strange Mirror of Black” examines the dichotomy within us all, but it’s also a love song, about how opposites can not only attract, but complete each other. A fitting ballad to cap an album filled with diversity. It’s no delusion, it’s a fact!
Find out more at: http://www.mattboroff.com/