If you lived through the 1980’s, and it was also your formative years for learning and appreciating pop music, it’s either a fond memory with lots of songs you still can sing by heart when they come on “Steve” FM or a best-forgotten nightmare of neon fashion, bad breakdancing, big hair, and 80’s big-drums production.
Matt Wertz is in the former camp, apparently, as his new release is a tribute to the pop and rock of the 80’s, and it’s not ironic or sarcastic in the least. These are not covers of actual 80’s songs but they sound so much like hits of that decade that one might be forgiven for trying to remember who it was that did them first. Shades of Glenn Frey, Miami Vice, Dan Hartman, Phil Collins, Richard Marx, Kenny Loggins, and more crop up, and the production is spot-on with the sound of pop-rock 80’s radio hits.
Producer and musician Dan Huff, who worked with many 80’s icons from Rod Stewart to Whitney Houston, and Kenny Loggins, contributes a period-piece guitar solo on the arena-rock anthem “Last Good Girl;” pedal steel player Dan Dugmore (who played on albums from James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, and John Stewart, among others) is featured on the acoustic album closer “Thing About Freedom.”
Wertz is aware of the stereotypes of the 80’s, even going so far as to make a fun 80’s inspired video for the song “Get To You,” which you can check out below: