The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Matthew Mayfield’s got a hit on his hands with ‘Now You’re Free’

Matthew Mayfield released “Now You’re Free” to positive reviews on April 5.
Photo courtesy of Fresh and Clean Media
Matthew Mayfield released “Now You’re Free” to positive reviews on April 5.

Matthew Mayfield released “Now You’re Free” to positive reviews on April 5. (Photo courtesy of Fresh and Clean Media )

When I got Matthew Mayfield’s new album “Now You’re Free” in the mail, I expected the same CD I had gotten hundreds of times before from southern boys with a guitar wanting to make it big in Memphis: simple chords, bland vocals and perhaps a backup girl with a softer voice for some flavor. Not so with Mayfield.

I popped in the CD, walked away from my stereo and went to clean my kitchen. Soon, I was standing back in the living room literally staring at my radio – dirty dish in hand.

From the moment you press play on this CD you are taken in by a sincere voice that carries so much raw emotion that you are transported instantly to the time and place that Mayfield wrote that song. And he wrote all of them, by the way.

Mayfield’s smoky vocals are unique, but remind you of all that was good about ’90s music. This voice allows him to flip from heartbroken singer songwriter to hardcore southern rock star seamlessly, and for as many times as he did that in this album, I never felt confused about who he was or what his goal was.

This album also boasts some powerful lyrics. My favorite song on the album, “Fire Escape,” opens with, “I see you bite your bottom lip, can you feel my kisses on your hip?” and closes with “Every word I wanted to sing got replaced by a wedding ring,” with dizzying emotion filling up the middle. It will leave you spinning for hours.

The lyrical ability translates into his more rock-friendly pieces like “Man-Made Machines,” which is nothing if it isn’t radio friendly. The same goes for the title track of the album, which is just unexpected enough to keep you interested and give you a few goose bumps.

I’m pleased to say that Mayfield is just as good in concert as he is on his album. Matched with the homey feel of the Prophet Bar in Deep Ellum, Mayfield’s sincerity and confidence gripped the room and forced everyone to listen.

His rendition of “Fire Escape” was punctuated by a perfect instrumental break, and he tossed in a cover of the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” which was a perfect match for Mayfield’s raspy vocals and southern charm.

My only disappointment of the concert was that he left out some of my favorite songs on his CD. Namely “Element” and “Now You’re Free.” Had he thrown those in, I’m quite certain I’d still be reliving the experience in my head.

If I had my way, I’d already have been spinning this CD on every radio station in the tri-county area. But I’m not a DJ, and unfortunately this CD hasn’t yet become a radio staple.

But from what I can tell, Mayfield’s road to stardom is kicking off in high gear. Don’t be surprised when you hear one, or all, of the songs on this CD bursting out of your car speakers soon.  

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