Matt Keating 'Wrong Way Home' - Sojourn

With a previous nine albums to his credit Matt Keating has a pretty good idea of what his is aiming for with Wrong Way Home. That seems to be a blend of some subtle pop sensibility in terms of melody mixed with a little alternative root and branch exploration that sees brass, accordion, lap steel and strings all given space in a sixteen song set. Keating co-produced the album with Jason Mercer and they appear to enjoy the freedom that had in the studio. From the brass underpinned Too Good To  Lose, to the country tinged Maybe He'll Meet You. Like fellow singer/songwriter Neal Casal Keating has a number of different cards in his hand that can be laid on the table for a winning hand. The title track has a roots feel blended with a more uptown pop feel that makes its appeal  more crossover. Keating is a solid writer who makes his words count as in the restless relationships of Here And Then Your Gone. Baby's Mind has a piano based jazzy feel that emphasizes the somewhat eclectic nature of the songs and also does the same for Keatings versatile vocal delivery. 1913 Coney Island has a historical context that is also subtly hinted at in the music. There is no doubt that Matt Keating has his act together and that his songs are the product of a progressive musical mind that wants to explore the possibilities it creates without making explicitly progressive music. Keating's music is never far from a melody without ever being overtly "pop music". He is an example of the type of musician who may never experience mass success (but may only be one song away from that if the right circumstances arose) but who will continue to follow his muse and his heart to create albums that he is proud of. There is a theme on some of the songs that mention the attraction of lights, carousels and company (Maker of Carousels, Jersey Sky). There's also the  bright acoustic-led sunshine songs like Sound Of Summer Days against the darker sentiments of the folkish Factory Floor. All in all an album to get to know at your leisure and to explore some of it's 16 track delights, there's enough here to at least appeal in parts if not all.