Review of Matthew Barber – Big Romance (Outside Music)

Matthew BarberAlong with Justin Rutledge, Matthew Barber is one of Canada’s most underappreciated songwriters. Produced by the Jayhawks’ Gary Louris, Big Romance benefits from Louris’ guiding hand, lending an understated elegance to Barber’s roots-inspired tunes. The album kicks off with the poignant ballad “Hold Me” before embracing Harvest era Neil Young on “When She Comes Over Me,” “Magnet Eyes” and the politically charged “On The 505.” Aided by a couple of more pop-oriented moments like the title track and “Lose Your Love,” Big Romance is a definite contender for Canadian album of the year.