Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we’ve been listening to New Jersey’s Matt DeAngelis with his latest single, Change Your Ways.
Change Your Ways is inspired by Matt’s observations of polarisation that has crept into so many attitudes in the United States and the rest of the world. Matt aims to give hope and a positive statement to the listener that everyone has their own time and place.
Change Your Ways begins with some glorious bright piano that set the mood. Drums and bass join fairly quickly into the mix and the song begins to take on a Ben Folds Five feel. Before the vocals even come in, the feel of the song is already positive and uplifting.
When Matt’s vocals do join the mix, we were all bowled over by his control in the falsetto notes. They sound effortless and easy and are a real joy to listen to. Later in the song, Matt pulls out some more powerful high notes that even Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) would be proud of! There are moments in his lower notes where we caught hints of Robbie Williams, particularly in his confident delivery. Change Your Ways even has an unexpected rap-like section in the middle of it which, whilst unexpected, somehow managed to fit the song perfectly.
Change Your Ways has some beautiful cello notes that help fill out the sound, and we loved the way that the drum fills separate different sections and help to build excitement.
An electric guitar joins the song in the choruses and gives the track even more appeal. It builds and builds the chorus before dropping back to the repeated piano riff for the next verse and building the song up again. The rise and fall in this track is truly spectacular and takes the listener on a rollercoaster of a journey. It is positively anthemic in places.
An impressive but brief Richie Sambora-style guitar solo with some fast licks and virtuoso techniques takes the song towards the end, rising and rising and rising before dropping back to the familiar piano riff, tying the whole song up with a lovely little chromatic scale up the bass frets to the end.
From a production perspective, a couple of small cuts around 250Hz and 1kHz would reduce a little muddiness and some slightly nasal tones in the vocal track. A wide boost across the high mids and highs centred around 8kHz followed by a high shelf boost in the top octave would increase the brightness and presence in the track. The vocal track is getting a little lost in places, particularly on notes in the lower register. More compression on the vocal track with some make up gain should help to bring it further forward. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Change Your Ways is a beautiful, piano-led emotional track with a dynamic soundscape that is sure to win him plenty of new fans. We loved it!