Mateo – Get To Know Me: Live At Swing House (Album Review)

mateo live at swinghouse

I‘ve only recently discovered this new gem on the scene. Mateo’s live performance album Get To Know Me: Live At The Swing House is a breath of fresh air and a personal unplugged album.  It’s the kind of album you play on a weekday evening, eating chocolates and sipping wine… Okay, who does that – but that’s where this album takes me! It’s been a while since I‘ve been so engaged in a ballad-based R&B album.

There isn’t much to criticise about this album; mixed opinions would just be down to taste alone and not really based on quality.  Standout tracks include the Coldplay-influenced arrangements in ‘Get To Know Me’ and a simple but well-delivered violin flecked acoustic performance in ‘Human’.  My favourite song has to be the diamond track ‘Complicated’ – a well-written and beautiful classical rendition, that gets you even more hooked when the drums really kick in.  With an arrangement that makes your heart melt and carries you with it, this song alone proves Mateo’s abilities as a musician.

Being a soulful pianist, he will obviously be compared to John legend; and funnily enough he was interviewed by John Legend for an intern post at a consulting group, when John Legend was a consultant before his music career (good thing he didn’t get the job!).  But Mateo has a different energy – he is edgier and has a purer, more youthful sound, with his tone bearing similarities to Craig David at times.  Maybe not an artist for everyone, especially the broken hearted, alpha males and haters of love songs or pop-R&B; but you can’t knock raw talent; this album is a perfect example of all of this.

–Liz Amadi