label: BeautyRock Records
released: early 2002
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
site : www.torbenfloor.com
buy it: here
In the most
rare of instances you'll find an album that, when you listen to
it, makes you feel both sad and guiltily pleased. Sad, because
it's just so good, but chances are that no one else will
hear it. Guilty, because it's just so good, and you're
one of the only people who knows about it. It's your key to cool,
the one trump card you can play to show all your music fan friends
that you remain one step ahead of them.
This is the
part where I play my trump card - Torben Floor's studio debut,
first: any album that when you play it, people stop in your office
and ask "Who's that? It's really good!" or when they're
at your house or in your car ask the same thing - that's a great
Again - Torben
the Chicagoland area, Torben Floor is a band of twenty-somethings
that considers itself from the "old school." Incorporating
a slew of musical styles, from Jeff Buckley to Wilco to Neil Young
to Radiohead, they've come up with a style that remains all their
own. Perhaps it's the honesty of Carey Ott's lyrics. Or perhaps
it's the tremendous amount of musical skill and passion that's
apparent throughout the album. Nevertheless, Matinee is
about as strong as debuts come.
As an album
opener, the straight-rocker "Ahead of Your Time," brings
the listener in as soon as Ott's vocals drop. It's a spot-on entry,
and his original vocal style lures the listener in; not gently
like the siren, but rather like the rocks that can bring your
ship down. From here on, the album continues on a trend of superb
songwriting and musicianship.
Distress" paints a lifelike portrait of the want every midwesterner
has for sunrays and ocean waves: "Midwest distress has got
you landlocked at best I'd guess / Midwest distress has got you
thinking West for good I guess." The crashing crescendos
and intricate melodies of "Claustro Crowded" showcase
the band's tremendous personal connections. You can sense there's
an innate understanding between the band members, like the music
always existed, they just had to let it out.
"Sunbathing," which made an early appearance on Torben
Floor's Live Music in the Apartment, also returns on Matinee.
This time in full form, it's perhaps the most beautiful piece
of rock music you'll hear in 2002.
floaty guitars, lonely muted drums, and simple honesty of "Everything"
make "Everything" the album's true gem.
At a time
when bands like Travis and Coldplay are making some of the most
interesting music in rock, it's good to see an American band putting
them all to task.
Fran Healy got dropped off in middle America.
And it's already
one of the best albums you'll (hopefully) hear in 2002.