Matt Johnson is a clever song-writer and has the power to evoke emotion with powerful imagery and he’s not afraid to tackle any subject matter front on. You name it; politics; war; religion; love; sex; death the list goes on. But don’t let the heavy subject matter put you off. Matt’s lyrics will challenge you and your perceptions. There is an honesty and vulnerability to his songs as he struggles with his own mind and emotions all the while highlighting the contradictions experienced by the human spirit.
‘Out of the Blue, Into the Fire’ from the notorious Infected album -
“I thought if I acted like someone else I’d feel more comfortable with myself” and “I was trying so hard to be myself I was turning into somebody else”
Double entendre’s are also common throughout Matt’s songs. ‘December Sunlight (Cried Out)’ makes reference to the difficulties experienced by women in their relationships with men – “she’s changing the way she feels about wasting her time and tears, she’s cried out, cried out …”
My favourite (so many to choose from !) has to be the opening line from ‘Love is Stronger than Death’ taken from the Dusk album “Me and friend were walking in the cold light of mourning”. So subtle if you hadn’t read the lyrics you would have missed it.
Even his song titles themselves suggests there’s a lot more to them than just the music, such as ‘The Beat(En) Generation’. Not only is this based on the title of one of his brother’s paintings (Andrew) it is also statement about young peoples apathy towards politics. A catchy tune – but worthy of a careful listen. Note: Andy’s paintings are often featured on the The album covers.
Other memorable lines …
‘Jealous of Youth’ taken from the Solitude album -
“It’s funny how, as we grow old we cling to the past as we cling to the air and feel nostalgia for things that were .. (pause) … maybe never there”
‘Slow Train to Dawn’ on Infected -
“I followed that bead of sweat to the small of your back from the nape of your neck”
‘August & September’ from Mind Bomb -
“We couldn’t deny it because we could not admit it, if our love was too strong to die or we were just too weak to kill it”
‘Slow Emotion Replay’ from Dusk -
“The more I see the less I know about all the things I thought were wrong or right & carved in stone”
“Everybody knows what’s going wrong with the world but I don’t even know what’s going on in myself”
I could go on … but you should have a listen for yourself.
A phenomenal lyricist and I reckon his music is even better !