Unfamiliar Faces (2008) California balladeer (and Jack Johnson protégé) Matt Costa loads Unfamiliar Faces , his second full-length with folk, indie, and psych-rock tunes — some hits ("Mr.… 2008-01-22 Matt Costa Folk
Music Review

Unfamiliar Faces (2008)

MATT COSTA Old-timey charms from a Jack Johnson protégé
MATT COSTA Old-timey charms from a Jack Johnson protégé
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Jan 22, 2008; Lead Performance: Matt Costa; Genre: Folk

California balladeer (and Jack Johnson protégé) Matt Costa loads Unfamiliar Faces, his second full-length with folk, indie, and psych-rock tunes — some hits (''Mr. Pitiful''), some misses (''Lilacs''). With a plucky guitar, harmonica, piano, and sun-burnished vocals, Costa knows how to work gospel's euphoric uplift into secular music, though he follows the blueprints of his idol (a ''Hurdy Gurdy Man''-era Donovan) a tad too closely. Thankfully, his old-timey charms don't overwhelm; it's more a reminder that in the Age of iPod, crackly vinyl is still worth cherishing. B+


DOWNLOAD THIS: Stream ''Mr. Pitiful'' at the Brushfire Records website

Originally posted Jan 11, 2008 Published in issue #974 Jan 18, 2008 Order article reprints