Singer/songwriter Matt Costa's self-titled 2013 album follows up his '60s pop-inflected 2010 effort, Mobile Chateau. Where his previous album found the often Anglophile-leaning artist imbuing his melodic pop with a kind of low-key psychedelia, here Costa keeps the old-school vibe going, but colors it with a softer, often '70s AM pop radio approach. That means we get a bit of country twang, some juicy organ sounds, and lots of shiny string and horn parts throughout the album. Cuts like rambling opener "Loving You" and the sparkling "Shotgun" bring together a mix of T. Rex's glitter rock and the pre-disco-era orchestral pop of Electric Light Orchestra. Elsewhere, the late-afternoon melancholy of "Early November" and the equally as ruminative folk-inflected "Laura Lee," with their gold dust-covered vinyl aesthetic, sound like long lost Donovan songs. However, Costa is not merely a retro stylist; his songs are always personal, yet universally relatable with evocative, poetic lyrics that seem to come from a place deep in his soul. On "Shotgun" he sings "I tried to find my own way in the books that I read/Found all my favorite authors, they're dead/Sometimes in your life you're gonna walk in a room/Everyone's invited but you." But perhaps Costa sums up the album's appeal best on "Loving You," as he croons "Loving you is not hard to do/We're always gonna make it through/You've got my attention/Here's my affection for you." With Matt Costa, Costa definitely has our attention and earns our affection.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar