Not Much Novelty In Matt and Kim's 'New Glow'

For anyone with the mindset of a young teen searching for hip, understanding lyrical content, Matt and Kim's "New Glow" could be one of the most meaningful albums of the year. For anyone else, it may not be much to write home about.

The Brooklyn duo is probably best known for the 2009 hit "Daylight," a vibrant introduction to the group's happy-go-lucky rhythms and simple vocal structures. Matt and Kim have always offered non-stop energy in their tracks, something that should not be overlooked by those looking for consistency in their musical library.

"New Glow" retains that energy through an ambience that reflects an overall sense of reckless youth mixed with occasional introspection. 

"World Is Ending," for instance, offers a notably electronic sound with a mix of contemporary terminology and thoughtful clichés. Simple, teen-centric lines such as "The selfie is alive and growing stronger," are balanced with thoughtful notions that "stories get better as stories fall apart." 

The youthful chaos of this song is a solid throwback to a stage of life where world views and personal perceptions are heavily influenced by social trends and interpersonal influence. 

"Make A Mess" basically sums up the overall tone of the album with lines such as "live every day like it's your first / while everyone else looks rehearsed." Certainly, this album is motivational in the sense that most songs encourage listeners to loosen up and enjoy life as it comes. The chaotic noise in this song, while definitely not everyone's taste, still has an impact for those who are willing to embrace it. 

Matt and Kim do chill out just a bit in "I See Ya." It's a bit more personal, sharing glimpses of an accidental disconnection that listeners of all ages can relate to. "The past six years / I wouldn't change or re-do / But I know I'd make / a little time for you."

The album's teen vibe reaches its catalyst with "Hoodie On," a completely fun-based tune with little to no deeper meaning. It’s the kind of silly song that you might be embarrassed to admit you like if you’re older than 17; then again, I suppose there’s no shame in a guilty pleasure or two.

Overall, “New Glow” is not all that new; Matt and Kim’s sound is generally the same. The album is not really lively enough to get you super hyped, but it still retains a consistently steady energy. It's not party music, but it's not crying music. It also does a good job of maintaining an energy so the listener isn’t fluctuating to and fro on an emotional roller coaster.

Sometimes artists can mature to a place where people who swore they’d never listen to them end up becoming devoted fans, but Matt and Kim hasn’t reached that level. This album is good for longtime Matt and Kim fans, but they haven’t evolved enough to attract new ones.

Reach the reporter at celina.jimenez@asu.edu or on Twitter @lina_lauren.

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