Prime Cuts: Alice, Time Stands Still, I Miss U
Overall grade: 4.5/5
EDM was what first brought Matthew Parker to the dance. Cutting his teeth as an ace remixer for Capital Kings, Lecrae and Jonathan Thulin, Parker has been a wiz as far as electronic music is concerned. At the tender age of only 24, Parker has not one of the most sort after remixer. However, with album #3 for DROM Records, Parker refuses to be pigeonholed into one sub-genre of music. Though EDM is still this record's major template, Parker has venture to incorporate more elements of pop, acapella and rock into the mix. "Daydreamer," thus, is Parker's most rounded album sonically. Lyrically, the album doesn't just canvass around the CCM list of acceptable topics. Rather, the album functions like the book of Ecclesiastes where the issues under the sun are placed under the microscope of faith.
The best songs bookend the album. "Alice" starts the album on a lofty note. Borrowing from Charles Lutwidge's "Alice in the Wonderland," Parker cordially invites us into his dream (hence the album title "Daydreamer") via an acapella piece that is absolutely stunning. The other A+ song comes at the end of the record. Closing off this 16-track album is "Time Stands Still." This time, Parker is out on his creative limp as he indulges in beautiful string-laden ballad that is ear-opening. "Good Memories" is an adrenaline driven pop-centric ode of thanks to all the blessings God has given to us. Parker's attention to the intricate details of his childhood blessings is what gives the song an added layer of autobiographical intimacy.
If you can imagine Prince's extravagant rock guitar ramps meeting Owl City, you will have a foretaste of "Find U." Call it genius or just pure wiz, "Find U" is a must-hear. Though "Breathe" has been touted as the album's lead single, it's not the best song on the set. Much better is the telling "Blue Diamonds." Encasing the message that happiness is not found in our possessions is the song's contemporary name-drops (such as Jay-Z, Gatesy and Rolex). For those who like hardcore techno stuff, "Lucid," which finds Parker duetting with label mate Landry Cantrell, ought to satisfy.
Despite the shimmering synth riffs and rotund-sounding beats, "I Miss U" is about the death of a friend and the hope we have in Christ. The song is coterminously visceral as well as hopeful. Though one is grateful for the generous serving of 16 tracks, a few of the songs get a tad similar when they are lumped together in one listening. Parker may do better to trim back the record to a mere 10 songs. However, despite this minor quibble, this is an excellent album. Fresh, daring, innovative, cutting edge and one you don't want to miss out on.