Music Review: “Face to Face,” My Silent Bravery

03/08/2017 12:21 pm ET

My Silent Bravery (MSB) is the name of the band, but the band is just one guy – Matt Wade, who hangs his hat in Boston, where he writes and sings music. MSB recently dropped a new album called Breakthrough.

Stylistically, MSB sits in the same category as Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz, what’s generally called pop-rock, which is pretty much rock-lite, music that straddles both pop and rock. In other words, it’s not totally commercial like pop, which is geared for bubble-gum snapping teenagers. And it’s not hard rock; rather it’s been smoothed out and diluted a bit, which means it’s geared for college-educated, young adults – millennials and Generation X. If that sounds snarky, it’s not meant to be. Rock-lite is good stuff; not as mindless a pop, but a nice relief from the hard stuff. Kind of like lite beer, a nice compromise when you don’t want a single-malt Scotch and you’re sick of sugary wine coolers.

And hey, most people like beer. Just like most people will like MSB. MSB’s sound is hip and upbeat, with lyrics that engage your thought processes, but don’t go all political-statement on you, or egghead-philosophical. I mean it’s just music, right? It’s supposed to entertain you and get you emotionally engaged.

The latest music video from Breakthrough is “Face to Face,” a pop-rock song about unrequited love. A young man is haunted by thoughts of a young woman, who is either a former lover or someone he would like to have a relationship with. I’m guessing she’s a former lover. In the video, he can’t get her out of his mind or flush her out of his emotions, whereas she goes about her life as if nothing has happened. In effect, she has totally dismissed him from every aspect of her life.

Michael Sparks Keegan

The video is well-done and very poignant. Most people have traveled through a similar heartbreaking situation – the lost love that you can’t forget and that you still carry a torch for. As Matt Wade follows her, singing out his love for her, it’s clear to everyone but him that there’s no going back. He succeeds only in tantalizing himself. There is no doubt, in this case, about his status.

Dreams, idle yearning for the unattainable.

“Face to Face” is acoustic, with minimal background accompaniment. And even though the story related by the tune is sad, the melody is upbeat and catchy. The vocals are clear and Wade phrases well, never forcing his voice to fit the music or vice versa. His voice has a pleasant, effortless timbre to it that makes it easy to listen to and sing-along-with.

Wade’s songwriting ability shines through on the entire album. Other delightful tunes include “Slipping,” “Drunk Off the Sun,” and the title track, “Breakthrough.” It’s easy to see and hear why MSB is taking off – the music is easygoing and fun. If you’re looking for an excellent album to download, Breakthrough is just what the doctor ordered.

Good stuff!

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