It is a measure of this fantastic label's brilliance that it can simply chuck out cheap priced samplers of the quality of this one. I don't want to go over the top about how great Matinée is....but I will... Let's have a run through of the tracks then. Would-be-Goods get all feisty on us, with the Sleeper-playing-'Jeane'-alike that is 'Morning After' - something of a paean to the hangover I think, and more songs need to be written about that particular evil, if you ask me. Then we have the gorgeousness of Graeme Elston's voice with Slipslide's awesomely melancholy 'Love Splits', which melts a few things this side of the keyboard. It's great to be able to say you can skip over the Lucksmiths' 'After the After Party' - not least because on any other compilation it'd be the best track by a country smile, but we've heard it before, so we'll concentrate on the sheer loveliness of a new Harper Lee track - 'Autumn' - which compliments the new Brighter compilation perfectly, adding perhaps even more melancholy to this bands' ouevre. The Pines' 'Rainy Day' and The Liberty Ships social documentary - 'Baseball Caps and Novas' slip down very nicely thank you, and Airport Girl's 'Ive Seen Mexico' could truly be heartbreaking if you let it. And then, as if that wasn't enough, The Windmills come over all Echo and The Bunnymen on us, rocking out on 'Summer Snow'. Well, when I say rocking out, I mean in a very understated way, of course. This marvellous little bugger finishes off with Pipas' short and sweet, but very sweet 'Don't Remix' and a...erm.. Lovejoy remix of 'Night on Earth' called 'Strike a Pose'. The contrary swine. All in all, a perfect little package. --Tasty
When you think of indie pop in 2003, odds are Santa Barbara label Matinée springs to mind fairly soon in the process. They have a lineup that contains some of the best indie pop groups in the U.K. and Australia. The Matinée Autumn Assortment! is a ten-track label sampler that has rare tracks, remixes, and songs from recent and forthcoming releases from their top artists. The best band on the label, the Lucksmiths, is represented by the excellent "After the After Party" from their recent mini-album A Little Distraction. Previously unreleased tracks include Slipslide's jangly "Love Split," Harper Lee's typically gloomy "Autumn," and the Would-Be-Goods' atypically tough "Morning After." Tunes from upcoming albums include "Baseball Caps and Novas" from the Liberty Ship's Tide LP, the dusty epic "I've Got Mexico" from Airport Girl's hotly anticipated Notes and Tones, and "Summer Snow" from the Windmills' Now Is Then. The Pines' autumnal ballad "A Rainy Day" is borrowed from an EP on Foxyboy Records. Two remixes round out the collection nicely: the Pipas' "Don't Remix" and Lovejoy's "Strike a Pose," which is a remix of their "Night on Earth." The EP is a nice introduction to the label, a must for Matinée devotees, and more proof that the Matinée crew knows the score. --All Music Guide
Like a fashion company unveiling their clothes for the season, Matinée Recordings often uses the time of year to remind us of the great pop music they've been releasing. Not that I need a reminder...many of the bands on their fall sampler CD, The Matinée Autumn Assortment! have spent ample amounts of time on my stereo in recent months. But this compilation earns its keep by presenting plenty of unreleased tracks, so even die-hard fans of the label have reason to cherish the CD. The Autumn Assortment includes unreleased songs from The Would-Be-Goods, Slipslide, Harper Lee, and Airport Girl; remixes of previously released songs by Pipas and Lovejoy; freshly released but equally splendid songs by The Lucksmiths, the Pines, and The Windmills, and a soon-to-be released album track by The Liberty Ship. My favorites on this CD include The Liberty Ship's snappy "Baseball Caps and Novas" and The Would-Be-Goods' even snappier "Morning After," but all 10 songs are fantastic. If the names of these groups mean nothing to you, you're missing out and The Matinée Autumn Assortment! will be the perfect introduction to musicians writing gorgeous songs that are as intelligent and emotion-filled as they are catchy and pleasing on the ear. --Erasing Clouds
It's been a really great year for Matinée. They've released a TON of really really GOOD pop records, all of which have been on the office stereo for quite some time. I always get so excited to get a Matinée record, and if you've never ever experienced the Matinée label (for shame!), then Jimmy Tassos has, once again, put together a treat for you! Every year, he has festivals around the world, and he always puts together a goodie for those who make it out to the shows. (Lucky Europeans!) This year's treat is The Matinée Autumn Assortment!, and much like last year's Summer Splash, it's a fine, fun little collection of artists participating at his shows. This time taking place in fall, the sampler has a lovely autumnal feel. The songs are poppy as always, though some songs seem a little sadder than usual. Oh, wait, they're not sad, they're pensive. Ah, okay, I understand now. Still, they're not as miserable as Morrissey (well, maybe Harper Lee, but that's just Keris' thing), though we have received word that Matinée will pay Mozzer and company tribute this next year. All the usual suspects are here: stalwards Harper Lee (who pop off an EXCELLENT song, "Autumn"), The Lucksmiths, The Would-Be-Goods (with a powerful little unreleased ditty, "morning after") Airport Girl, Liberty Ship (with an excellent entry from their forthcoming debut album), Slipslide, The Pines, Pipas (with a nifty remix from their most recent album), The Windmills and Lovejoy, who provide a Pet Shop Boys-style dance song which for some reason makes me think also of Madonna - oh wait, cuz it's called "Strike a Pose" and seems to reference her ever-so-slyly. Short, concise, to-the-point. More samplers and compilations need to take a lesson - all of these songs are winners, but, of course, that Matinée logo should already tell you that. A great little compilation for a great little label. Enjoy, and if you ain't got on the Matinée train, get with it, kids! --Mundane Sounds
The days of autumn may seem like a lifetime away, but don't worry. Settle down and listen to Matinée's Autumn collection and find yourself transported back in time to the days when skies were blue, leaves were brown and the light was soft. A hazy, happy time, before the cold weather and icy rain really had got a chance to eat away at you. The CD features many of the remarkably talented bands signed to the label, each contributing a song which gels together fluently and freely. It is a cheerful mix of pop from the likes of the Would-be-goods, the Pines and Pipas which is flexible enough to accommodate the more thoughtful and pensive contribution, "Autumn" from Harper Lee and "I've seen Mexico", an arid song with a dry country edge from Mexico contributed by Airport Girl. The CD features an exclusive Slipslide song which tells the tale of a romance that dies for the sake of a career. Considering the subject matter the tune is surprisingly positive. The Lucksmiths contribution "After the after party" from their new EP "A little distraction" bounces onto the scene with typically clever lyrics backed by a catchy tune. All in all the CD would make a good purchase for anyone wishing to experience the magic which is Matinée Recordings. --Friends of the Heroes
Okay, okay, I know it's not autumn anywhere in the world right now, but this new Matinée sampler didn't officially come out until November, so we're all behind schedule... Most of the usual suspects appear on this disc, many with brand new tracks even! The Would-Be-Goods & Slipslide start off the record with an exclusive song from each. The Lucksmiths follow with "After The After Party", from their recent smash ep, "A Little Distraction". A new Harper Lee song, appropriately titled "Autumn", comes next, followed by the Pines' "A Rainy Day", taken from their "True Love Waits Vol. 1" cd on Foxy Boy. Next, we get a taste of the upcoming full length from The Liberty Ship (sure to be a winner), then a new song from Airport Girl (which I wasn't too into), followed by a song taken from the new Windmills cd, "Now Is Then". Two remixes, by Pipas and Lovejoy (of "Don't Walk" and "Night On Earth", respectively), round out the disc - another great sampler from one of the best labels around today!
Like Matinée's recent 'Summer Splash' collection, the title is as much about mood as it is about seasons. Though this is ostensibly a left-field pop sampler designed to introduce greenhorns to the Californian label, there's an air of world-weariness, an atmosphere of resignation here that's indefinably English. Only Harper Lee's excellent, moody 'Autumn' is obviously glum, but The Lucksmiths, The Would-Be-Goods (whose powerful, previously unreleased 'Morning After' is genius) Airport Girl and Liberty Ship all show that pop can be peppy, joyful and downbeat at the same time. The genre has long been due a re-definition, there's none better placed than Matinée to do just that. --Logo Magazine
Ok, maybe it's not quite autumn anymore, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to this CD! And that's especially true if you still haven't checked out the many fine bands that make up the Matinée roster. From the jangly guitar sounds of the Liberty Ship to the more electronic style of Pipas, this CD spans much of the Matinée spectrum. While many of the songs on this CD are on albums that have since come out, there are some still yet to be released tracks on here too. If you haven't picked up the latest releases from the likes of the Lucksmiths, the Liberty Ship, the Pines, or the Windmills, well, you can get a preview here that may entice you to hit up the record store. and if you're looking to satisfy your need for some new Airport Girl, Would Be Goods, or Harper Lee tracks, then look no further! And just to push it over the top, you get exclusive songs from Slipslide, Pipas, and Lovejoy!! So even though autumn has come and gone, this CD still offers something fresh and new for even the most ardent Matinée Records fan. And if you've yet to check out what's behind all of the praise for label boss Jimmy Tassos and the bands on Matinée then this is about the easiest way to remedy that situation. --Pennyblack Magazine
While there's definitely something autumnal about Matinée's airy, intelligent strain of Britpop, you don't need to put this compilation on the shelf 'til September to enjoy it. More than another "state of the label" compilation, the Autumn Assortment apparently ties into a series of performances by Matinée acts in Spain and the UK last October -- but if you missed those shows (and most of you probably did), there's still plenty to enjoy. There's a song here for almost every mood. If you've got the urge to get blind drunk at a pub with your friends, make sure Airport Girl's "I've Seen Mexico" is playing on your mental jukebox. If you're going for a long, solitary walk in the country on a blustery day, load The Windmills' stormy, introspective "Summer Snow" on your iPod. If you're in the mood to stare at the stitching on your trainers, fire up Harper Lee's glittering, faintly Cocteau-ish "Autumn" or Pipas' blissfully heavy-lidded "Don't Remix". And if you've got a headache and none of your clothes fit properly and you don't have a job and you just want to sit indoors and feel miserable about everything, The Pines' bloodlessly folksy "A Rainy Day" will leave you feeling damp and purposeless. While Autumn Assortment's quality level never dips too low, its aesthetic is rather narrowly defined. As a result, the only songs that truly stand out are the ones that break from Matinée's basic Britpop format ("Autumn", Lovejoy's Ladytronnish "Strike a Pose") -- and they aren't necessarily the best material. Still, the album's twee factor is encouragingly low, and collectors will be pleased by its generous offering of previously unreleased tracks. Autumn Assortment may never get your pulse racing, but there's a good chance that you'll still be enjoying it when the leaves are green again.
So I'm doing my review for the new Windmills album Now Is Then, and I'm looking up the Matinée Recordings website, and I notice... boy, this is a label I think I might like a lot. From the bands I recognize on their list, it looks like a label full of fun bubble-gum pop bands, many from across the pond, and even a few bands (The Lucksmiths, The Guild League) in common with Cut the Chord favorites Candle Records... it looks like maybe they do the U.S. distribution for Candle or something like that. Anyway, I'm digging through some of the stuff I still need to review and I notice The Matinée Autumn Assortment! tucked away in a colorful cardboard slip. So I figure, what a perfect time for my second foray into the treacherous territory of the record label compilation CD! So here's my song-by-song analysis, as I listen to the album for the first time. Try to keep up! 01: Would-Be-Goods "Morning After" - A slightly Nico-esqe singer, a fun Dressy Bessy sort of band. It's kind of unfair to say that, because both this band and Dressy Bessy have influences that reach much further back... but, well, you know what I'm saying. If you like one band, you might like the other. 02: Slipslide "Love Split" - Oh, I like this track too. I'm not sure what to say about it. Like I'd said in my recent Windmills review, this feels a lot like the Sarah Records stuff I've heard, and kind of like Cinerama too. 03: The Lucksmiths "After the After Party" - I love me some Lucksmiths. This is one of the tracks off of A Little Distraction which, if you'll notice, is on my Top 10 albums of 2003. It's nice to hear them becoming stronger musicians throughout their albums. 04: Harper Lee "Autumn" - This one reminds me of Field Mice quite a bit. Very spacy, very lovely. "A previously unreleased gem that reminds us we need more records from Harper Lee." Ha ha, I'm gonna have to look up what albums this band has recorded. It looks like they have two full-lengths on Matinée, at the least. 05: The Pines "A Rainy Day" - Another Nico-y singer, huh. This is lovely too. Goddamnit, every song on this compilation has been that way! This just goes to prove a point I've made before about the number of great labels out there that have such selective taste that if you like one artist on the label, you're probably going to like most of them. 06: The Liberty Ship "Baseball Caps and Novas" - Oh, surprise surprise, I like this one too. This band's debut album looks to have come out just recently. This reminds me of the music of the Orange Peels and the Autumn Leaves, great throwback stuff. This compilation is becoming a checklist of albums I need to buy. 07: Airport Girl "I've Seen Mexico" - Huh, this band has a little bit of a different sound. A throatier singer, a sort of slow country-western ditty song. This is enjoyable too. This is one of those bands I know I've heard of before, I can't remember exactly where. Yup, I have it on my list of artists I've meant to check out, though I think I had a hard time finding mp3s for the band at the time. Although at the time I was using Kazaa. Now that I have SoulSeek I bet it'd be easier. 08: The Windmills "Summer Snow" - Oh, I know this song. As I mentioned, I just reviewed this album and I liked it quite a bit. Great song, and I'd say it's indicative of how good the whole album is. I've got a feeling that all the artists on this comp are probably going to be pretty dependable. Most bands like these don't have one great stand-out song. They have a great sound they've refined that they can spread over entire albums in a way that works beautifully. That's true of so many indie bands. If I've heard a song I like, I'm rarely scared anymore that I'll buy the album and it'll be the only song I like. That happens maybe once in every hundred CDs now. (I know, that statistic reminds me that I buy FAR too many CDs.) 09: Pipas "Don't Remix" - Ha ha, great song title. Oh, it's actually a remix of a song called "Don't Walk" by... umm, oh it's already over. 10: Lovejoy "Strike a Pose" - Another remix. Good beats, I'm curious what these original songs sound like. The packaging mentions that this commemorates "a series of live performances by Matinée artists in England and Spain in October of 2003." Those are some concert I'd have liked to attend. But anyway, it's nice to hear this compilation, because now I'm REALLY fascinated with this label. Plus, I see that soon they're going to release the new Fairways album, and that's an excellent band, so I'm very excited for that. Anyway, the checklist is made, time to start ordering CDs. --Cut The Chord