Hear The Track HereCraig Matthews (aka Pidgeman) has been a regular on these pages for the last year or so and is actually quite a prodigious musician, out of the wodge of tracks I have reviewed he has done well in terms of keeping my critical beast at bay. It helps considerably that most of the tracks this UK based musician writes are good, old fashioned rock tunes and I am amazingly biased that way. The Man That I Could Be is a new track where Craig comes up with the eternal question 'Why is it that women always seem to want to change men?' and if anyone ever comes up with the answer to that it would surely be the End of All Things. 'If they are not happy', Craig posits further, 'surely it'd be easier to find someone else?' Well, indeed it would be then that would mean that the woman in question is no longer giving YOU grief and that, my friends, is what this is all about.
Yep, I am so proud of my 'Dyed in the wool misogynist' badge...
I am amazed at the amount of times I am out of sync with people's comments about tracks, especially over at MP3 Unsigned, and nowhere more so than on this track. Pidgeman, in my experience, is an excellent songwriter, arranger and producer and can be relied on to pretty much always deliver a song that is worth listening to. On that score, The Man That I Could Be is a great song, catchy in the right places with a witty and topical lyric. Where it often falls over is in the finer details. I'm sure Craig is heartily sick of people like me carping on about his vocals and, if the truth be known, these tracks are only kinda/sorta demos anyway, right? The snag is that when people like me get asked to review them, it always becomes a major issue.
As much as I liked the song, for my money the track fails in a couple of key areas. Firstly, of course, is the vocals. I've heard Pidgeman tracks where he does nail the vocals but this isn't one of them and in fact combined with the excruiating backing vocals becomes a major distraction. Secondly, there is a certain drag in the track that I just can't ignore - and that's because I do expect more from this musician because I have heard him do it. Now maybe that's because the whole track needs to tighten up, and maybe introduce a slightly faster pace, or maybe the arrangement needs to be rethought. There is an identifiable 'ploddiness' (Ed: oh God, is that even a word, let alone a technical term) to the track that IMO makes it drag more than is good for a pop song. Nonetheless, if those things are addressed, this is going to be an excellent slice of Brit Pop al a Squeeze (the original, original Britpop).
Great song, not so hot delivery. Recommended for the song.