Now for something completely different, or sort of. Matt Stevens is a respected and prolific guitarist, notable for his work with Fierce and The Dead and his many solo achievements. Exploring both his biography and discography can be a challenge. But he seems to have effectively used the Internet to publish a good chunk of his work, going straight to digital download. Lucid is his latest solo, maybe his third; it's a bit confusing.
Lucid implies some degree of clarity and transparency, something easily understood. Matt Stevens will have you find little of that on this album. The music within is a diverse and eclectic as his larger portfolio. At the same time, he takes acoustic and electric guitar wizardry to new levels, both creative and obtuse. What he seems do is play songs against each other, with one being sharp and acute, the next something gentler: Oxymoron, then Flow; The Ascent, then Coulrophobia (an abnormal fear of clowns; had to look that one up); or Lucid, then KEA, a delightfully acoustic number. That latter song and the earlier The Other Side may provide more of the clarity you're looking for.
Perhaps because of it's length, the centerpiece of Lucid would be The Bridge. It begins and ends with Stevens' sharp fuzzed out riffs and rhythm, with his guitar wonkery in the middle waffling between the blissful sublime and his hyperbolic genius. It's certainly not the best piece on the album, but it is original.
While Lucid will likely find a home on the shelves of other guitar geeks, there is that certain, can't-put-your-finger-on, component that makes Stevens work pedestrian or accessible, something even the Philistines on the sidewalk could appreciate. Perhaps it's something larger like the depth of his creativity, or something as simple as how he can make that acoustic guitar sing (as with KEA and A Boy). Regardless, Lucid is notable achievement for Stevens.
Matt Stevens' Lucid offers more acoustic and electric guitar wizardry and madhattery from this talented player, composer, and all around guitar geek.
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