Little Acts of Rebellion
Some call him a "softer version of Tom Waits". Others refer to him as the "Dylan from the Ruhr area". With the release of three albums in a single year, Roger Matura once again proves he is a lot more than that. Once again, he has re-invented himself, sounding more eclectic and current than ever before. Each of the three discs highlights a different aspect of his personality: One sees him as a sensitive composer, another as a laterally thinking cover artist. Take on the Giants, finally, documents his work as an ambitious, forward-thinking songwriter.
You can take the striking title of the album quite literally, as Matura stresses. This, after all, is what he aspires to with each new album: Competing with the best, reaching for the stars and writing the most beautiful, moving and rousing songs he is capable of. As always, he was able to tap into a huge archive of unpublished compositions from the past 50 years as well as plenty of fresh material: "There was certainly no shortage of songs this time," he laughs.
Take on the Giants has accordingly turned into an epic cycle filled to the brim with wondrous and deeply personal musical short stories. All seventeen pieces are to the point and yet replete with lyrical and musical details, following the flow instead of sticking to rigid templates. Although loops and samples have left an indelible impression on its sound design, fans of Matura's earlier work won't disappointed. As always, after all, these songs deal with the artist's past and perishability, constituting little acts of rebellion against the dying of the light.
On "I Dreamed Last Night", a piano ballad pierced by elegiac synthesizers, Matura actually for once does sound like Tom Waits. This, however, is an exception which only highlights his personal vision all the clearer: Never has he sounded more like himself and like no one else than right here.