Martin Lucassen checks back in with his faithful on his latest release Nobody Talks About It
. Lucassen is a brilliant and promising singer/songwriter from the Netherlands whose music is a combination of classic British guitar pop, Americana, and folk music topped off with remarkable lyrics and melodies. Comparisons to pop giants Crowded House, Matthew Sweet, and Michael Penn come easily and are quite appropriate. His vocals are smooth, dreamy, and wistful, never overly dramatic, yet cool and calm at center stage.
Nobody Talks About It
finds Lucassen again in fine form. He has tightened up his songwriting even more than on his previous efforts and his emphasis on song craft is quite apparent. Lengths are shorter, words more carefully chosen, and instruments are more artfully placed this time out and a bit of a psychedelic influence is displayed and well handled. Lucassen again did much of the mixing and production himself and the record gets high marks for sonics. His guitar tones are especially luscious and groovy on both electric and acoustic and the guitar performances are of equally high caliber.
There are 11 songs presented here and each of them has its own distinct identity, which shows another degree of songwriting skill. The opening track, “Falling To The Ground,” is a driving and cinematic rocker, with Lucassen’s almost delicate vocals floating on top of the band. Many of his songs have that movie-esque, soundtrack feel, which is an attractive quality, and this one is seriously looking for a film to open. “Believed” is another highlight and features a strong mid- tempo beat and some slinky, almost funk-influenced guitar work.
“I Want You To Stay” is gentle pop Americana, with acoustic guitars up front and some sweet Hammond organ in the back. Lucassen is especially slick in the lost art of ordering the tracks of an album, and a softer song like this is a beautiful breath of air in and amongst all the electric guitars. The uniqueness of each song also contributes to the flow of the overall record, as well, and listeners don’t get bogged down in soundalike tracks halfway through the set.
All the songs here are strong and it is easy to get pulled into Lucassen’s world and drift away on his aching melodies. Other must-listen cuts are the Beatle-ish “Beautiful Thing,” the upbeat and guitar-heavy “Welcome To My World,” and the introspective and personal “New Year’s Eve,” in which beautiful melodies tell us of some difficult things that occurred over the course of the last calendar.
Taken as a whole, Nobody Talks About It
is another winner from Martin Lucassen and a telling step in his evolution as both a recording artist and a singer of songs. He’s clearly on an upward trajectory and is refining his writing and recording chops a bit more with each new release. It will
be interesting to see where he goes from here, as this collection is about as good as it gets in the realm of intelligent pop/rock music.
NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IT Martin Lucassen Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
It’s the big things and sometimes the little things that make a great artist stand out, it’s the passion, it’s the artistry, and most importantly it’s the heart. Martin Lucassen’s newest project entitled, “Nobody Talks About It,” is creativity personified.
The project opens with a piano driven, exuberant tune entitled “Falling to the Ground;” that is not only lively but it’s reminiscent of the classic sound, Simple Minds gave us in the 80’s. But don’t let that detour you the song is just as contemporary as it is classic. Martin’s voice coupled with the instrumentation on this track is just the beginning of his beautiful adaptation of creative sound.
“Believed” is one of my favorite of three tracks on the project, the song just “feels good;” from the second it comes on Martin’s voice proves he is creating his own path, leaving melodic footprints along the way.
“I Want You To Stay,” is a somber story we can all relate to, the lyrics are heartfelt, the pain is obvious, but it’s the sound of Martin’s melancholy vocals that really capture the listener.
While, “Hawkesbury Radio” is such a clever gimmick, Martin’s voice coupled with some great mixing, a little echo, reverb, and awesome dynamic processing give this tune such a different sound. It feels like retro radio, the guitar chords are rapid, broken chord strums versus simultaneous strumming, and he sounds collectively passionate.
What makes this project worth a listen aside from Martin’s obvious talent is the way he moved beyond creating just singles and looked more into formatting a great album. “Beautiful Thing” is an example of his innovation. Its two minutes and fifty three seconds of intoxicatingly melodic patterns, chords, and traditional tempos that draw the listener in and charm your musical ear into musical submission. “
“A Dark Rainy Sunday” reminds you its okay to be human, “Don’t feel like loser, you’re human too;” great advice over the bass driven original piece.
While “Magic Home” has such a smooth flow and nostalgic feel, that it seems to seamlessly pull you into a story line, there’s a slight stream of consciousness in the lyrical delivery provided by Martin which only enhances the classic sound.
Another one of my favorites on the project is, “Optimistic” not only is the message of the song beautiful, but the harmonies are gorgeous, the production is lush and the retro vibe on this one is palpable.
“Forget Time” is a finely calibrated interpretation of artistic ability, great vocal range, and perfect timing, a really solid track.
One of the most creatively written and performed tracks on the album is “Welcome To My World,” the song incorporates elements of classical, pop, and even a slight hint of rhythm and blues while remaining rooted deeply in originality. Martin’s voice doesn’t disappoint, the background vocal are subtle but a really nice addition over the roaring drum pattern.
“New Years Eve” is the final stand out track that not only ends the project in a masterful manner, but cleverly pushes the listener to re-evaluate and assess their own New Year while simultaneously drawing you into his world. It’s a perceptive, sensitive, way to commensurate the finale of the album.
Overall this is a solid project, perhaps it’s the excruciating honesty in his poetically drenched lyrics, or the reminder that real music still exists whenever his voice delves in a pop, rock or folk influenced piece, whatever it is, it awakens some of the same truths inside anyone who is listening and reminds us; “Real music still exists.”
I guess we live in a world where labels and pigeonholes have become too important. It’s all the fault of us lazy journalists and our attempts to package and market music in neat, easily demarcated bundles. Martin Lucassen’s sophomore album reminds us of the folly of our ways, for even though it happily wears terms such as pop and occasionally folk or Americana on its sleeve, it is surely more than enough to describe it as a collection of slick, well crafted, commercially accessible songs.
Album ‘Nobody Talks About It’
So if we abandon the criteria of assigning labels, what can we use as musical yardsticks? Well, we can talk about the textures, the way often a series of layered sounds are woven together to create depth and dynamics, in the same way that the beauty and impact of a water colour painting is in its ability to apply dramatic colours in one place and leave the paper blank in another.
We can certainly talk about the benefits of a clean-limbed approach towards the instrumentation, for with the possible exception of the excursion into edgier pop-rock territory that is Welcome To My World, ironically, Martin’s world is one of musical economy, of subtle detail and of restraint rather than of showing his hand too often. Why be big when you can be clever?
It is this musical elbowroom that he allows himself which allows the subtle mechanics of the songs reveal themselves through the spaces in the top line melodies. Here a wonderfully concise bass run pops through, there sumptuous vocal harmonies pass by just on the edge of the song or more often than not the spaces are filled with atmosphere and anticipation, a tool as powerful as any clever riff or fancy drum fill (take note kids.)
Pop music is done often, but in general not done well. All too often it is happy to sacrifice creativity for formula, to wander very narrow, established pathways for fear of losing site of the pop-fan dollar. Martin Lucassen shows us that if you flip this model on its head, draw in influences from a number of genres, you can write songs, which both appeal to the masses and retain the integrity required by the more discerning listener. Throwaway pop songs that you will want to keep forever!
Even by the second track on the album, Believe, I am reaching for comparisons to such as Crowded House, pretty much the highest benchmark in my world for music able to offer both popular and critical appeal. Beautiful Thing meanders through some hazy, acid laced, bucolic, Beatle-esque soundscapes, Magic Home employs some wonderfully shuffling Americana and New Years Eve is a wistfully reflective letter to himself. It is both diverse yet wonderfully consistent.
And the narrative of the album takes a similar route as the music. Its combination of being both concise and lyrical, gets the message across in clear and poetic terms, is personal but relatable on the part of the listener, it is heartfelt without being clichéd, a modern approach to expressing timeless sentiment.
The best songwriters don’t concern themselves with labels or genres, they understand that it all comes down to just one thing – creativity – and whatever inspirations you take, whichever musical building blocks you use to fashion that melodic vehicle, it is all there to be used and learned from. Martin Lucassen understands this better than most.
Check out his website: http://martinlucassen.com
This is the conclusion of laserlife a reviewer of the album “Nobody Talks About It” at thebandcampdiaries.tumblr.com.
Highlights of the review “Nobody Talks About it”:
I am glad to see Martin returning to the music scene with a direct, energetic and accomplished second album
“Falling To The Ground”, a truly epic song with some amazing stadium rock vibes. The track blends in epic guitar tones with lush piano melodies, driven drums and a really stunning approach to vocals.
“Believe”, and it is a really enticing midtempo ballad with some great acoustic guitar tones, pianos annd electric guitar leads with a bluesy feel. The song is perfect to match Martin’s personal and direct lyrics.
“Hawkesbury Radio”. This song seamlessly blurs the lines between pop and rock, making me think of the work of eclectic artists such as John Lennon or The Kinks, just to mention but a few.
“Forget Time” is a a beautiful acoustic ballad with a very introspective tone and some amazing melodies.
Overall, this is a great collection of songs to discover and enjoy completely!
The whole review can be read here.
My new video of ‘Magic home’ from the album ‘Nobody Talks About It’ the is available on YouTube. Check it out!
What people say about this track:
“I really liked the calm beat and I felt like the song was balanced and had great vocals. Really enjoyed the song”
“Not only is the excellent instrumentation notable, but the song also houses some of Lucassen’s most surreal, poetic lyricism.”
“I love the guitar and beat here – it creates a real atmosphere. Great driving song.”
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Loved loved loved this album! Your new fan, Jess ~ Her reaction of her review of the album “Nobody Talks About It”, which contains 11 original new English songs.
“Nobody Talks About It”
is Martin Lucassen’s second singer-songwriter album (released on 9 December 2016) leans heavily toward pop stylings and contains 11 well written songs. Besides pop there are hints to Americana and Folk.
Highlights of Jess’s review:
- Martin brings sweet singing and riveting lyrics with taut instrumentation.
- He takes deep vocal stabs through his emotional truth, which is matched by a level of musicianship; in its melodic company of great illustrative backdrops
- Undoubtedly he is navigating the music in beautiful unpredictable ways.
- The overall sound is an untamed beauty, just as the nature of the music intended.
- Each track brings a new element of surprise.
- There are some lighter songs throughout but there is a striking atmosphere in this album.
- This record unlocks the mystery of emotions that are complemented by the lyrical context.
The entire review can be found here.
Listen to the Album ‘Nobody Talks About It’ on Spotify
All the best wishes for the year 2017! That you’re dreams may come true!
Here’s my New Year’s Eve Song! Just released!
A happy new year,
Merry Christmas song
When I think about thè merry Christmas song then first song that comes to my mind is “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ from John Lennon.
It describes exactly the Christmas spirit that I feel! Peace, help each other, be kind, loving one another, etc.
The music and the message makes this my number 1! This feeling from the message is something we need to treasure!
Yes, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is my favourite merry Christmas songs!
I also like to write songs (as a hobby), but I failed to wrote a Christmas carol yet.
My first holiday I wrote is about New Year and is called ‘New Year’s Eve’.
You can take a listen below, I would really appreciate it, if you do. I hope you like it!
I wish everybody a merry Christmas… and a happy new year!
Listen to the new song ‘New Year’s Eve’
New Year’s Eve we’re almost there! Just a few weeks!
Here’s the link to the new song a new year song with video : Video “New Year’s Eve”
A happy Listening and new year!
“New Year’s Eve’ is one of the new songs from the album ‘Nobody Talks About It’ released 9 December 2016.
More info: http://martinlucassen.com
The first review of ‘Nobody Talks About It’ by Beach Sloth.
Here are some quotes:
“With a lovely 60s psychedelic pop sheen to it, Martin Lucassen’s “Nobody Talks About It” is a brilliant beautiful album.”
“Opening up on a tender note is the beautiful driving rhythms of “Falling To The Ground”.
“A fragile celebratory folk emerges out of the passionate “Hawkesbury Radio”
“The highlight of the album is the cinematic approach of “Beautiful Thing”. Recalling the best of the Beatles the song possesses a timeless classic feel to it.”
“Summery in scope is the glistening airy atmosphere of “Optimistic”.”
“Bringing the album to a lush conclusion is the spacious sound of “New Years Eve”. With this piece Martin Lucassen sing straight from the heart revealing a true knack for storytelling.”
“Martin Lucassen creates a comforting, dreamy swirl of sound on the hopeful “Nobody Talks About It”.”
The full review can be found here.