Lexington’s most anticipated album of 2013 is here – Matt Duncan has returned with his perfected style of poppy, old school soul. The album opens with the funky, violin infused “The Keys,” a song that leads the album off with one of the catchiest choruses I’ve ever heard. The whole thing is full of good feelings, running through a series of eleven perfectly crafted 3-minute songs in just 36 blissful minutes. The mix of Duncan’s piano and vocals with the horn lines of Ryan Moore and Evan Belt make for an album that could have been recorded by Billy Joel backed by the E Street Band. And while his first album, Beacon, employed a capella backing vocals for the “meat” of some songs, Soft Times fills out the sound with some masterfully played guitar, bass, and drums. That isn’t to say the “ooh’s” and “ah’s” are gone, they’re here (and better than ever) but serve to supplement the preexisting songs he’s created – and they supplement them very well. All in all, Duncan isn’t shy to ask people to join in on his project – in addition to his usual six-piece band, he’s enlisted the talents of several others on several songs and the production of the album. From the album’s cover by Robert Beatty, to the much-talked-about “fortune-teller” vinyl release by Melvin Dillon’s Soul Step Records, the album is truly a product of the most talented folks in Lexington.
Songs I Liked: The Keys!!! (SO Catchy), Rube Goldberg Machine!, Soft Times!! (A great title track), Horn of Plenty!!!, Sparkle and Fall!, Summer Song!!, I Don’t Know!, Idle Hands!, Lone Ranger!!!, Solitary Heart!, Lost Boys!!
– Ben Southworth