This album seems to be the first production of musician John Matthias, and if it is, it is a very good start indeed. After a period in the shadow of others, John Matthias released Smalltown, Shining, a little pop-folk album abundant in good ideas. To tell the truth, half of the album is flirting with the divine: a revisited modern version of American folk music, something like Calla covering Neil Young. These are the best things ever done both in term of writing and research of a new sound for folk music. Unfortunately, diverted by pop influences, the album, which could have been a masterpiece, loses all possibilities of becoming monumental. It anyhow remains a very pleasant album with grand passages.
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AllMusic Review by Romain Guillou