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Review: Matthew Browning – ‘Underneath the Willow Tree’

by admin August 26, 2020

Review: Matthew Browning – ‘Underneath the Willow Tree’

Blending post-progressive rock with theatrical overtones, Matthew Browning has developed a real talent for engaging with his audiences on both an emotional and spiritual depth. A singer-songwriter who has been writing and playing music from the time he was old enough to sit at a piano, filling his childhood home with music before eventually make the more to Colorado Springs.

It was there in Colorado that he first put together his distinctive blend of post-progressive rock and theatrical overtones, putting his background in formal music theory and composition to work alongside his range of diverse influences.

At nearly eight minutes in length, Browning’s latest single arrives in glowing symphonic form. Titled ‘Underneath the Willow Tree’, the song is a passionate anthem that the singer has loaded with emotion. Evolving with each moment, the song holds within it a noticeable delicacy, one that’s constantly at the surface of the song and inherent in the instrumentals. Strings sweep into focus and then fade into a wave of percussion and electric guitar, breaking the pristine theatrics with a maelstrom of cultivated notes that are purpose built to mirror the sentiment of the song.

The music and instrumentation are wonderfully lavish, offering both subtle symphonic counterpoints along with a real sense of musical complexity that draws you in further and further with each passing note. The fusion of classic rock elements with a more organic, theatrical appeal is easily the cornerstone of the track, and while Browning’s vocals excel in keeping the emotional rawness of the song, it would have been great for them to sound stronger and be more of a focal point in the piece.

Released alongside a stunning music video, ‘Underneath the Willow Tree’ is a powerful first impression of what Browning has to offer. It’s a single that has real melody, texture, and purpose, something that a lot of today’s music often lacks.

Score: 8.5/10

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