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Now on their third record, Matt & Kim have once again raised their own bar, adding additional instrumentation and moving in a slightly more experimental direction. Opening with "Block After Block," a sampled and repeated "yeah!" along with hand claps give potential live audiences plenty to look forward to. If you do a Google image search for Matt & Kim, you'll be hard pressed to find a photo without both of them grinning ear to ear. This is the same reaction they look for from their listeners with every song.
Like most bands with a similar upbeat style, Matt & Kim do an excellent job balancing their newest record with both new and familiar aspects to keep fans begging for more. "Block After Block," "AM/FM Sound," and the lead single, "Cameras," succeed in introducing their new stylistic tendencies while pulling fans along for the ride. Further along, higher pitched synths are introduced on "Red Paint" and a slower tune complete with string pizzicato samples, "Where You're Coming From," offers the perfect halfway point.Read more ›
From the initial swirling synths and reverberating baselines of the intro track, "Block after Block," it is evident that "Sidewalks" is a very different animal. Although Matt & Kim have retained the core elements of their artistic identity, Kim's spastic percussion was traded in for a more smoothly paced, bass-laden rhythm. Likewise, Matt toned down his lyrical delivery to one more closely attuned to singing, resulting in greater vocal range, despite his self-proclaimed lack of singing skills. They did not, however, completely abandon the techniques that gained them notoriety, as shades of their previous effort are easily recognizable in "Red Paint," and to smaller degrees in several other tracks. While "Cameras" is certain to be the most well-received track from the album, the work as a whole experiments with an array of styles and sounds.
The lyrical content is smart and witty--lines such as "While I know it's letters that can spell, I hear now it's words that can say; I decided to start writing less and I'm talking more every day" make it difficult to determine if they simply favor a sardonic style of delivery, or if they are instead trying to achieve catharsis by making light of real life struggles.Read more ›
However, I think the new more controlled sound shows growth. By focusing on other sounds I think Matt & Kim have pushed the boundaries on their music making it more than just fun pop songs to dance to, to more nuanced music with much more staying power. I may be hearing things but I would say "Block After Block" even has a little Southern Hip Hop thrown in. "Northeast" adds some real range and interest with it's very bare stripped sound for the majority of it. I think this album shows real growth in the music writing department and shows more maturity; however, make no mistake--you will still be dancing and flailing about when listening to this album. It's still the catchy fun music you've grown to love from Matt & Kim--it's just a little bit more polished.
For first time listeners I would compare Matt & Kim to a stripped down version of The Go! Team or even Santogold. Highly recommend if you enjoy life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this album and the artwork inside is awesome as well! I saw them during 2014 Hangoutfest and got to say that was my favorite performance the whole week!Published on June 25, 2014 by Ji
Matt and Kim follow up Grand with sidewalks. Same kick ass drums and synth. Love these two. For any fan it's a must have!Published on March 25, 2014 by Nathan
Matt and Kim are always at their best. I'd like to see them live again but any album I haven't got is a good purchasePublished on March 12, 2014 by Ryan Margado
Matt & Kim are one of my favourite bands, and I wanted their entire album collection. Fast shipping, no scratches on anything, and I still listen to this CD in my car.Published on March 10, 2014 by Christopher
There upbeat and positive attitudes just make you feel good about life!These guys know how to make you want to jump up and give the world all the love!Published on January 9, 2014 by Uzamaki1234
The music has a great upbeat, happy vibe. I also really like the auto rip to the amazon cloud player, i got to listen to the whole album before i got the hard copy in the mail.Published on April 20, 2013 by Jared Vierra
like the CD, seems approriate for all ages, would like to hear them on the radio more often. great music and good price on this CDPublished on February 20, 2013 by TLC
I loved the single from Sidewalks and once I downloaded it I was hooked. I just wish I could sync up the cloud and my itunes, helP?Published on November 25, 2012 by Jonathan Mathew Whitehead
Has anyone else had enough of the twee, cutesy, hipster nonsense in the indie music scene? Sorry, tweenies, but you could dig a bit deeper. Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by L. Franklin