Gemini Queen – Still Matthews (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If there is such a genre as brooding pop or soul searching R&B or perhaps even trip-rock, then Still Matthews is to be found within. He makes the perfect post-genre blend of music that used to be separated by tribal boundaries and sonic demarcations, and which thankfully the modern world seems to be doing away with. Not that Matthews seems as if he has ever been that concerned with rules and the expectations of others. The music world is all the better for such attitudes.

Gemini Queen broods and grooves its way through a slow and sultry and edgy R&B landscape, one that takes in booming bass pulses and skittering trap percussion, distant licks of rock guitar and washes of sonic darkness. In many ways, it is the opposite of pop’s perky, saccharine style, in other ways it embraces the genre’s same infectiousness and addictive charms. And that is why Gemini Queen works so well, it is both dark and etched with danger yet compelling through its lyrical journey and beguiling beats.

And it is this duality of sonic ideas, this conflict of generic interests, which makes it so important. Like a Trojan horse, Gemini Queen is the sort of song which could steal its way into the pop world and then influence and infect it from within. And such an influence could easily create a much-needed dis-ease within the music industry, one which could overturn the norm and help usher in a more edgy and interesting, new creative drive.

It is something that is long overdue in the comfortable world of mainstream music and I think that Still Matthews is just the man for the job.

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