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Hard not to like

One Thing Right
One Thing Right
By Matt the Electrician

Self-released: 2006

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This review first appeared in Turbula in April 2007.

The vehicle for singer-songwriter Matt Sever, or perhaps it's simply a stage name (it's hard to tell from the CD's packaging and Web site), Matt the Electrician has a mellow, folk-rock ambience built around the slightly hoarse vocals of Sever and his sweetly melodic songwriting.

For this, his first release, Sever has assembled a a half-dozen friends to assist him on the dozen songs here. It's a mostly acoustic affair, which serves both Sever's voice and his songs well. The instruments range from guitars and piano to a banjotar (!) euphonium and xylophone. There's an electric guitar listed on the credits, but it surely doesn't play a large role here.

Instead, it's Sever's voice front and center. Possessed of neither rich timbre nor great range, Sever is nevertheless an effective, expressive singer. Part of that is undoubt due to his own investment in the songs, as he wrote them all but one.

But a large part of it is the charm that comes through in his singing; there's a touch of humor here, a warmth that grounds the stories his lyrics tell. It's a voice that's hard not to like, and it's singing songs that are too pretty to ignore.