20 March 2010

[I contributed this post to a fabulous music blog called Pop+Nation.]

When singer-songwriter Katy Perry was 20 years old (2004), she worked with the production group The Matrix on an album. The album created a lot of buzz about Perry and British songwriter Adam Longlands; a couple of nobodies working with some of the top producers. Despite the buzz about the album, The Matrix decided to cancel the album weeks before the album's due date.

The Matrix is the self-titled debut album by the production group The Matrix which was released onto iTunes on January 27th 2009.

Opening up the record is You Miss Me. It has a very pop rock sound, wonderful guitars. The signature roughness in Katy Perry's voice gives it a very grudgy feel. Pair that with Adam Longlands carrying the chorus, it's a great song to kick off the CD. Broken was set to be the first single. It has a bit of a Disney feel to it. I mean, it sounds like something Hey Monday or Miley Cyrus would sing. Especially the chorus. Maybe because the song had previously been recorded in 2003, under the title "What Do You Do", by Matrix produced sister act, The Troys with a few lyrical differences *and* included in the compilation album, The Powerpuff Girls: Power Pop. Personally, I don't like it very much. The band recorded a music video for the song Broken to help promote the album. The video not only featured Perry and Longlands, but whole band.

Up next, Damn. If it sounds familiar, a song from Skye Sweetnam's Sound Soldier album, titled "Boyhunter", which was produced by The Matrix surfaced in 2007. The song uses a slightly altered version of the music from this track. It's very pop/R&B, a bit closer to Katy's sound today. Katy sings solo on this track and it's very danceable. Take A Walk was re-recorded by Sara Paxton in 2005 for the Darcy's Wild Life soundtrack. I don't dig the verses although I can imagine this song playing at a party -- even in a club, given the right remix. Adam Longlands' voice/style lends itself to that kind of sound. One of my favorite tracks is Just A Song. Katy sings solo on this slower song. It's a nice break from the heavier pop rock songs so far. It actually is reminiscent of "Thinking of You". It showcases the emotion in her voice so well. My friend described it to be "a bit emo" but it works for me.

I Love You is another song that has club potential. I notice that if a song is headlined by Adam Longlands, it has a particular pop/club vibe. On this song, Adam is on his own and yes, definitely a club party song. Live Before I Die is awesome. Although it is another Adam Longlands solo, it's slower. The strings are absolutely beautiful; one of my favorites off the CD. In 2006, "Live (Again) Before I Die", appeared on a Bonus track version of Ashley Parker Angel's debut album Soundtrack to Your Life. Ashley re-wrote the majority of the song.

Back to Katy Perry solos, Would You Care. It's a cute song. The singer talking to herself, "Get used to it Katy" as the first line. It's one of those "girl power" songs. Seen That Done That reminds me of something a boyband would sing. Very pop/R&B; I like the attitude. Last track on the album, Stay with Me is a light pop rock track. I don't have anything special to say about this track, to be honest. It's very simple and listenable.

I found a list of other recorded tracks for this album. And it's funny that the best track, in my opinion, is not included to the retail release. However, Love is A Train/Time's Up is re-recorded by Ashley Tisdale as a bonus track on her "Guilty Pleasure" album.

Overall, there's nothing very special about this album. The Matrix decided to release this after the initial success of Katy Perry's official debut album, "One of the Boys". But if you're a Katy fan, go for it.


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