Matt Bruno - Punch & Beauty

Matt Bruno - Punch & Beauty
Release Date:
January 1, 2002
Recording Location:
Walled Garden, Seattle, WA
Punch & Beauty

An augmented reissue of an album originally self-released (on CD-R) by Seattle-based popster Matt Bruno, 2000's Punch & Beauty is a delectable slice of guitar-heavy power pop along the lines of the Posies' Frosting on the Beater or Matthew Sweet's meatiest work. Bruno, who played all the instruments save the drums and a couple of guitar parts, is a canny songwriter able to use the tropes of power pop (crunchy, lightly distorted guitars playing memorably hummable riffs, la-la-la backing vocals, upwards modulations on end choruses, that sort of thing) without having them sound like clichés. The vaguely psychedelic "Sooner and Later" (not the Grass Roots song) and the snarky new wave electro-pop "I Wanna Be Beautiful" show that Bruno's got a wider range of stylistic influences than just his Badfinger and Big Star albums, but even on the most typically power-poppy tracks, like the opening "On Top of the World," Bruno throws enough curveballs to make the tracks sound fresh. Most appealingly, Bruno's voice is considerably stronger -- not to mention deeper -- than most of the power pop singers who overuse the Alex Chilton/Chris Bell top-of-the-range vocal gimmick, which allows him a much greater range of shadings. The three additions to this version of Punch & Beauty are "Do You Love Me," a lovely, harmony-heavy Brian Wilson homage (circa Today or Summer Days (And Summer Nights) instead of Pet Sounds and Smile, refreshingly enough), and the Aaron Copland-influenced orchestral shadings of "Lover May I," plus a dispensable alternate mix of the Spector-esque "That Someone."

On Top of the World / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno feat: David Mills3:18
Sooner or Later / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno2:09
Dancing / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno3:17
So Unlikely (Did You Die Tonight?) / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno3:31
I Wanna Be Beautiful / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno feat: David Mills2:12
I Can't Quit You Girl (Again!) / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno1:57
Pin-Up Girl / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno2:29
Simply Yours / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno3:02
Let Me Really Love You / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno feat: David Mills2:28
That Someone / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno feat: Darren Jones2:35
Do You Love Me? / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno3:48
Lover May I? / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno4:09
That Someone / Matt BrunoMatt Bruno2:37

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