MusicTAP, Futureman Records and myself are very pleased to announce the release of Chapter Three, the third album from Michigan’s The Legal Matters. With two successful and incredibly memorable, embraceable and tuneful previous releases (the self-titled debut and 2016’s Conrad) under their belts, the band are excited to present their third opus… Chapter Three.
The two previous albums garnered high praise for the bands’ classic vocal harmonies and catchy melodies: “The Legal Matters have ‘it’ —that glorious something special. Highly recommended.”—Popdose“ …and the latest album continues to present these unique talents in a 12-song collection, filled with more ear-worm melodies reflecting the times we live in and the times The Legal Matters live in.
Channeling all you love about The Beatles, Beach Boys, Big Star, et al and infusing it with their own personality, the band continues to grow and mature while retaining the enthusiasm for beautiful, harmonic pop songs. Andy Reed, Chris Richards, and Keith Klingensmith – all notable figures on the Midwest power pop scene – once again handle vocal and instrumental duties with the help of Donny Brown (ex-Verve Pipe) on drums.
A quick and reasonable disclaimer: I’ve listened to, reviewed and enjoyed to no end the first two Legal Matters albums – both have an incredible wealth of melody, structure and punch. That’s my quote from Popdose that the band included in their press release – and it’s not b.s. This is one damned fine band, so with this third release, I went into it with the hopes that the caliber of the songs were as high a quality as the first two; that COVID-19 hadn’t wrought anything negative upon the band, etc. and I’m very pleased to report that my thoughts were rational but unnecessary, because once again, the boys have scored the hat-trick.
“Light Up The Sky” (video featured below) opens up the album – and immediately I thought of The Posies – small wonder – both great bands; both know how to kick off albums with strong standout tracks and the song has that Posies-esque feel, which I can immediately devour – and this song has a very distinctive ’70’s vibe, which made me feel very warm; “Independence Well Spent” has a heavier “rock” feel and progresses in a classic manner, with different movements – right away, I can hear that the band is going beyond their previous boundaries and they succeed with stellar results; “That’s All” goes in a completely different direction; acoustic-based with delicious country undertones and beautiful backing harmonies and “Don’t Read Between The Lines” screams of a good old-fashioned “radio hit” – how can you listen to this and NOT think this should be coming out of a car stereo, riding high on the charts?
“Please Make A Sound” is perfect power-pop: all the elements that I look for (and what I utilize when I write songs) – melody and then some, harmonies, riffs (including a glorious use of synthesizer lines), uptempo and 100% on-the-one (most favored track status here!); “The World Is Mine” has a mid-’60’s “sinister” tinge to it – think old spy movies and tension building cinematic moments – this is such a magnificent surprise and should (if there’s any justice in the world) be used as a theme song for a thriller; “You Sure Can’t Blame Her” is something I would actually expect to hear on modern country radio, as this is a perfect piece to be showcased on Circle TV or Dittty TV’s Americana network – once again showing The Legal Matters are NOT locked into just one sound and style and “Passing Chord” is the album’s closer and the absolutely right way to end the proceedings – an amalgam of Beatles/Beach Boys-styled piano elegy with atmospheric production and hauntingly beautiful vocals awash with harmonies.
Reviews are supposed to be objective critiques – well, okay. Speaking in strict terms, this album is undoubtedly my (already) #1 contender for Album Of The Year – it really doesn’t get better than this. There are so few artists/bands out there right now – some, but not many – that can execute the way The Legal Matters do. So they’d better start stepping up, because The Legal Matters, with Chapter Three, are absolutely on top of their game. A massively powerful and thrilling musical ride.
Chapter Three will be released on Friday, April 30th, 2021