BWW CD Review: Matt Doyle's UNCONTROLLED is Heartfelt Pop Perfection
After two successful EPs, Broadway veteran Matt Doyle has released his first full-length album, Uncontrolled. Doyle successfully crowd-funded the album on Kickstarter, and his passion for the material shines on every track. For fans of his EPs, the pop tonality emanating from Will Van Dyke's skillful arrangements will be familiar. For those listening to Matt Doyle for the first time, this aural landscape is inviting and addictive.
The album opens with the swell of a string section, grabbing the attention of the listener. Doyle's warm yet soft vocals take over as he sings a sweet rendition of the Broadway standard "You Made Me Love You" (James V. Monaco and Joe McCarthy). With rock urgency and raw power, Doyle's second track, "Moment" (Matt Doyle and Joel Huemann), takes the listener to a completely different mental and emotional state. It's during this electrifying song that the listener realizes that they're in for an album comprised of tunes that Doyle loves and personally connects with, regardless of whether they are original songs or covers.
Doyle's vibrant instrument glows on "If It Makes You Happy" (Sheryl Crow and J. Trott). His energetic cover balances the emotions of the song while perfectly alternating between the unforgettable low and high levels present in the original recording. With "When I Let You Go" (Will Van Dyke and Matt Doyle), Doyle's heartfelt vocals and heartbreaking lyrics are poignantly stirring. The track showcases just how unafraid he is to bare his personal scars and heartache for his art. "Fall For Me" (Will Van Dyke and Matt Doyle) treats listeners to an up-tempo, 50s inspired pop ditty. Doyle's vocal and lyrics will leave audiences smiling and uplifted.
Doyle's cover of "Mary Jane" (Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard) offers an interesting take on a beloved track from an iconic album. Van Dyke's plaintive arrangement is reminiscent of a stripped-down ballad from a '70s funk band. Doyle's vocal line is mesmerizing and haunting on the song, allowing his rendition to stir up the same emotions as the original while making it uniquely his own. The next track, "Love Uncontrolled" (Will Van Dyke and Matt Doyle), continues in the vein of 70s funk and soul, expertly delivering a throwback-esque tune that sounds like it was originally written by Carole King and made popular by an artist like Aretha Franklin. Moreover, Doyle's voice fills the song with infectious heart.
With "8" (Matt Doyle, Tina Parole, and Jason Gantt), Doyle presents listeners with a song that sounds as if it was ripped from a modern pop musical. Its inspirational lyrics and empowered vocal line combine to form a song that reminds us all to dust ourselves off and try again. On "Make You Feel My Love" (Bob Dylan), Doyle resolutely charms the audience with the sentimental side of his multifaceted instrument. Then Doyle introduces the listener to the bitter yet empowered side of his voice with the roiling yet sultry song "I Remember You" (Will Van Dyke and Matt Doyle). Doyle's spirited cover of "Me and Bobby McGee" (K. Kristofferson and F. Foster) comes to life with his ability to delight listeners with a raw, blues vocal line.
"What You Stole" (Will Van Dyke and Matt Doyle) allows the listener to get wrapped up in Doyle's delicate lyrics and melodies about falling deeply and unexpectedly in love. The album comes full circle with "Home" (Will Van Dyke and Matt Doyle), which opens with a string section and builds into a fully orchestrated ballad. With tangible vulnerability and rousing heart, Doyle's lyrics and vocals make this song a true treasure of evocative, emotional art.
Even though it may not read that way, Doyle's Uncontrolled is a wonderfully cohesive pop album that takes listeners on a journey through love and its various modes. Listeners see the beginnings, the ends, the ups, the downs, and the in-betweens all while enjoying Doyle's gifted vocals.
Matt Doyle releases Uncontrolled on February 26, 2016. The album can be purchased from iTunes. For more information about Matt Doyle, please visit http://www.mattdoylemusic.com/. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.