Forever in motion, yet deeply rooted to certain places that have a personal and quasi-spiritual draw, Matt Cibinel has built his musical self-expression on the benefit of years of travel and cross-cultural exploration. The young hitchhiker with the backpack and a warped $15 guitar purchased at a Mexican antique store soon discovered an aversion to metropolitan city centers and a strong preference for developing world countries and the sincere selflessness of their peoples. The guitar was his calling card, his introduction to the locals and that group of international nomads known as backpackers. There is no language barrier when words are put to music.
Simply put, “Angel Eyes” is a track that sounds like it comes from the classic singer-songwriter era in the1960s and early 1970s , when a song could stand strong on a voice, a melody and a coherent lyric. A style typical of artists like Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Jim Croce, Van Morrison, Arlo Guthrie, Jackson Browne, J.J. Cale and Nick Drake, but the list is endless and I could go on forever. Today this style is all but lost, if only for a handful of exceptions…like Matt Cibinel.
“Angel Eyes” is an incredibly honest song, achingly so at times. It’s hard to ignore the intensely personal nature of this tune – which is wrapped-up in Matt Cibinel’s weather-worn, gravelly voice. The instrumentation is sparse – guitar, drum, bass and, occasionally, harmonica. Somehow nothing else seems appropriate, as if anything more complicated would negate the power of this song.
The song-writing and delivery reaches unforeseen heights of maturity, depth and soul-searching, without the use of electronics, ultra-modern technology or an over-produced arrangement. A song of simple beauty, based on basic chords and a straight melody; yet it is able to underscore a profound sense of emotion.
Initially recorded some years back, Matt Cibinel’s music displays sustained staying power and relevance and “Angel Eyes” is a great illustration of his amazing talent, years after its first release. This is a poetic track which deals with real emotions; it is as immediate and as timeless as any of the great singer-songwriter works from the golden folk-rock era. Not to be missed, especially if you’re a nostalgic, hooked on great melodies and awesome lyrics without the electronics and gimmicks!