CD Review: Matt Hutchinson “Three Minute Man”

Matt Hutchinson is a Baltimore, Maryland-based musician who grew up listening to everything from everything from early rock & roll to country & western. But on the newest release of Three Minute Man, Hutchinson focuses on the rock & roll influences he has massed over the years, with the title referring to the average length of his songs on this release.

To help bring his music to life, Matt Hutchinson had some help. With Hutchinson on guitar, he is joined by Bill Dixon on Keyboards, Accordian, and Bebot; David Lester on bass and his brother Tim Hutchinson on drums.

The album Three Minute Man from Matt Hutchinson begins the first track of “Only You”. The track has a rock feel with just a touch of zydeco to it. The resulting sound for this particular track will remind listeners of something that could have been created by Jimmy Buffet. In fact, the track has very much the same feel to it as Buffet’s track “Volcano”. While the tracks have a similar sound to them, the song from Hutchinson has a lot less “island” influence.

Matt Hutchinson’s newest release continues with the track “Open”. The pop-rock feel of the song will grab the attention of the listener almost immediately. The track features both the guitar and the keyboards in an equal amount so that the two instruments help to create the commercial feel to the track. The song’s sound is catchy that the track could get a great deal of play on Top 40 radio.

“I’ll Take the Fall” is a track that features a sound that features an unmistakable sound that brings to mind the pop-rock of the eighties. The soft rock feel of the track seems to recall bands from that era like Erasure and a-ha. For fans of the pop-rock from the eighties, this track is a great reminder of that time in rock and roll.

Hutchinson takes the style of his music and brings it forward for a much more current sound. The track “Up In My Room” is yet another track on Hutchinson’s Three Minute Man that features a very strong commercial feel. The guitar-based track brings forward Hutchinson’s rock influences a little bit more than on the previous tracks of the release. The track is one of the stronger ones up to that point.

The track “Why Don’t You Come Down” begins with a guitar riff that sounds like a mix of something from The Cars and “Jesse’s Girl” from Rick Springfield. Once the rest of the song begins, the music to the track contains a strong eighties vibe to it; especially with the saxophone from John Dierker.

Some of the tracks find Hutchinson showing off some of his influences. The Counting Crows influence on “Known the Difference” gives the track a much different feel to it than the rest of the album. The track feels like it would belong on any of that band’s albums. The vocals and lyrics even suggest Adam Duritz’s vocal approach.

What separates “The Good China” from the rest of the Three Minute Man release from Matt Hutchinson is the inclusion of the horns from saxophone player John Dierker, trumpet player Brent Madsen and trombone player Brad Gunson. The horns from the three brass players add a Latin flavor to the track. The song once again gives the album a different sound.

With the track “Aimee,” Hutchinson begins with a lone guitar for the first minute or so before the rest of the band joins. When the band does join in, the song becomes a track with an easy Alternative Rock feel. The easy pace of the track matches up well with the emotional feel of the lyrics to the song.

The newest release from Matt Hutchinson comes to an end with the track “From a Friend to a Friend”. The inclusion of bells on the track also gives the song a slight orchestral feel to it. The arrangement of the song makes it absolutely perfect for play on the radio. This track ends up being the most produced track on the album, with the song feeling like something that could have been from Bruce Hornsby and the Range with a little more energy. It also ends up being the most infectious track of the album.

Three Minute Man from Matt Hutchinson feels very much like a throwback to albums created in the late eighties, early nineties where it was about creating an album that contained straight-out rock and roll. This style of music takes the listener back to before the beginnings of Alternative Rock showed up. The very commercial feel of the music on this release is sure to please those who want just a hint of what used to be.

Click HERE to check out Matt Hutchinson as he performs the song “Aimee” live in concert.