“New Glow” Matt and Kim

Matt and Kim

New Glow Album Review

Harvest Records

Released April 7, 2015

Genre: Pop, Electronica, Dance Pop

It almost feels wrong to criticize Matt and Kim. This is not because they’re perfect, beyond any level of criticism or analysis, but because the duo of Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino know exactly what they want to do with their work. They want to make light, fun music. And their fifth album – New Glow –  is just that, light and fun. Unfortunately, many of us have come to expect more from these two, so their lack of maturation is sometimes frustrating. New Glow is likely worth a listen for Matt and Kim fans, but it’s still more than a little disheartening.

Clocking in at twenty-seven minutes, New Glow tries to get through a lot in a short amount of time. Results vary. There are definitely a few really solid songs. The album’s first two tracks, “Hey Now” and “Stirred Up,” respectively, are a lot of fun. With one exception, these are this release’s highlights. “Hey Now” is full of real energy, resembling a classic Matt and Kim song, while “Stirred Up” is a properly paced, interesting piece with hints of hip-hop.

Some tracks, however, are disingenuous. “Can You Blame Me” is completely rushed and annoyingly repetitive. It lacks a soul and feels manufactured, which is the last thing I’d have expected from Matt and Kim. “Hoodie On” is quite simply just not a good song. It is, of course, an ode to hoodies. This track could be a fun break on a larger album, but New Glow shouldn’t contain any filler with its sub half hour running time. The majority of the album’s other tracks are better than “Can You Blame Me” and “Hoodie On,” but they’re still not exactly memorable.

And then there’s “I See Ya.” This slow, emotional jam that closes out the album serves as concrete evidence that Matt and Kim are in fact capable of writing strong lyrics and crafting songs that can make a person feel something. It’s not perfect, and it’d be hard to argue that “I See Ya” ever gets truly deep, but that’s beside the point. It’s one of the only songs on the album where it’s obvious that Matt and Kim actually care.

Look, Matt and Kim are still great artists. Neither has lost their skill set. I remain in awe every time Kim Schifino seems to lose herself in the drums. New Glow is then clearly a disappointment, because neither musician utilizes their full potential. I’ll hold out on the hope that the disappointing majority of New Glow is just a minor setback, because I can’t allow myself to think that Matt and Kim’s future will resemble anything like “Hoodie On.”


FAV TRACKS: I See Ya, Hey Now

SCORE: (6.0/10)

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