The Matthew Herbert Big Band

There’s Me And There’s You (K7)

Rating: NNN

The cover of this album is a petition signed by the musicians playing on it, asserting that they believe “music can still be a political force of note and not just the soundtrack to overconsumption,” which should give you a pretty good idea of where Herbert’s head is these days.

Of course, long-time listeners are well aware of his interest in injecting some seriousness into pop, jazz and dance music. But in this case he’s more heavy-handed with the political content than usual.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what stops this quirky collection of futuristic big-band jazz from being great rather than just good. There are some great moments, to be sure, but there are too many spots where the lyrics induce cringing and the electronic interventions sound more like gimmicks than real song elements.

Brand Voices

NOW Magazine