Two years ago, Popdose introduced you to The Legal Matters, the brilliant Michigan-based trio of Keith Klingensmith, Chris Richards and Andy Reed.  Their self-titled debut was easily one of the best things to hit this writer’s ears that year and made my year-end list.  Now they’re back, they’ve been signed by the good folks at Omnivore (didn’t I tell you they know great music?) and their sophomore effort, Conrad, has just been unleashed.  And if you thought the first one was great, you’re going to lose your shit when you hear this gem.

I’m not sure if I’d equate “I’m Sorry Love” with the White Album – it sounds more like it comes from Abbey Road, with those arrangements and those harmonies (Jesus, how much more perfect can you possibly get?  Seriously – listen closely.); “Anything” shimmers like the sun off the water in the summertime – the chiming intertwined guitars and, again, the harmonies on the chorus that fits the gentility of the melody (this is quintessential radio-pop – and goddamn it, this is another one of those songs I’d love to hear while I’m driving) and a great key shift on the middle 8.  “Minor Key” is the perfect Beach Boys/Big Star skewering, bringing the two sounds together pretty seamlessly; the detailed guitars, the harmonies, the tempo and melody – rich and textured and with that great recurring guitar and drums riff; “Short Term Memory” is the down-and-dirtier side of the band, like a rockier Hollies, around the period of Evolution or Butterfly and “More Birds, Less Bees” is the clever 7th and 9th chords-driven track that sounds like it would have been the opening theme to a late ’60’s film with a groovy girl and a sweet but misguided guy – these guys know how to write songs that fit every facet and situation.

Eleven tracks – I’ve given you five to begin with, savor and digest slowly so that they remain.  Go grab a copy now – seriously, don’t even wait.  And as usual, when I tell you something is that good, it’s no lie.  The Legal Matters have it – even more now than they did before.


Conrad is available now

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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