After the resounding success of X Factor winner Matt Cardle’s platinum selling debut album Letters in 2011, it has been a whirlwind year for Cardle with the split from label Columbia Records, and signing to So What Recordings, a decision Cardle regards as “not difficult”, saying that he “had the time to write the album that just felt right.” Cardle’s new album – The Fire – was released at the end of last month, containing 10 tracks written and produced in LA.
If for a moment you think that Cardle has changed because of his success you’d be wrong; the new album still holds Cardle’s distinctive voice. Tracks on the album like ‘It’s Only Love’ alively, upbeat track that immediately sets the tone and theme of the album.
Cardle admits that the album is influenced by the recent breakdown of his relationship. However, the songs are not those of soppy, desperate love ballads as one may expect, in fact you find emotionally provoking songs containing truth leaving him bare to criticism. The most prominent track on the album – for me – is track 9, ‘Lately’, as it expresses perhaps Cardle’s own optimism for change and hope for the future. Cardle admits that this song is about a being in a situation where you have to go all the way down in order to pick yourself up again, Cardle’s own philosophy is that “things will not get better until you fix yourself”. This album seems to be Cardle’s way of finding therapeutic release.
Tracks on the album like ‘The Fire’ and ‘For Every Heartbreak’ offer a rockier edge in contrast to the haunting vocals of ‘Water’ slower in tempo, the lyrics are in itself beautiful, and have a kind of honest sobriety.
Cardle’s well known cover of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ concludes the album perfectly. The Fire is an exceedingly personal album, possibly an account of the various stages of dealing with heartbreak, and each track provides the different stages; the emotions suffered, anger, resentment, loss, etc. ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ serves to remind him of how it first felt to fall in love; a song relatable to the story of the album.
Cardle has also hinted that there may be a UK tour next year, but that that is still in the pipe line. His fans may have to wait a little while after his recent mini tour.
There are so many different aspects throughout this album, which all relate to the ongoing theme of heart break; it has served to be a time for Cardle to grow since the success of Letters. Cardle has proved that he doesn’t need to be coddled by a major record label; he can still be a semi independent musician even after all of his success-something lacking of many musicians these days.
Oh, and his infamous hat? He’s scrapped that.
Track Listing – The Fire, Matt Cardle
1. It’s Only Love (Matt Cardle / Paul Statham)
2. The Fire (Matt Cardle / Eg White / Jack McManus)
3. For Every Heartbreak (Matt Cardle / Steve Booker)
4. Water (Matt Cardle / Tim Gordine / Andrew Jackson)
5. Anywhere (Matt Cardle / Ben Earle)
6. Anyone Else (Matt Cardle / Jeff Halatrax)
7. Empire (Matt Cardle / Jamie Hartman)
8. All That Matters (Matt Cardle)
9. Lately (Matt Cardle / James Walsh)
10. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Ewan MacColl)