Ontario-based musician Matthew Ryan Jacobs is a singer-songwriter who has only been performing on the music scene for a few years. However, he’s become an extremely accomplished musician in that time, as his latest EP, The Trouble In Me, shows. It’s largely a pop-rock record, although there are a few other genres thrown in there for good measure. If you like what you read here, you can check out the EP in full at the end of this review.
By Jane Howkins
Title track The Trouble in Me opens things up nicely, with a gorgeous set of guitar chords that match the waltzy beat and bass perfectly. There are occasional little guitar motifs thrown in, adding more variety to the track. Matthew’s vocals are exceedingly strong here, injecting a lot of soul and emotion into the track. There’s also an organ added in, making the track sound like a rock song straight out of the 70s, although with a slick and modern production style. Lyrically, it’s about not fitting in and being okay with that, giving a great message to the masses.
Skip the Gin has a similar sort of rhythm to The Trouble In Me, although it’s a little slower in pace. It’s got quite a melancholic vibe, utilising some gorgeous guitar arpeggios that really add character to the piece. Matthew’s vocals really soar here, full of passion as they sing the lyrics in an emotive manner. The guitar solo towards the end is also epic, really making you feel everything Matthew is singing about here.
Next up is Street Lights, which starts out much slower than the previous two songs, with Matthew’s vocals taking the centre stage. However, the rest of the instrumentation soon kicks in with bombastic style. Despite the use of the electric guitars, there’s something almost folky about the tune, hitting you hard in the feels. The tempo never lets up, keeping the listener enthralled throughout.
Morning Light takes things in an even folkier direction, creating a nice change in pace from the rest of the EP. It’s just Matthew and his acoustic guitar for the most part, allowing his heartfelt lyrics to really shine through here. On the chorus, the rhythm section and a beautiful set of strings arrive, creating something really haunting to behold.
Last, but by no means least, is final track, Sun Goes Down. It’s another primarily acoustic song, having quite a bluesy rhythm. However, the piano adds a really nice tone underneath the guitars and drums, creating something extremely elative. It’s a lovely song to round the EP out on, leaving you smiling long after its finished.
All in all, The Trouble in Me is a fantastic EP, and one that shows a songwriter with a multitude of skills. Matthew Ryan Jacobs is certainly very talented, including many different genres and styles in these songs.