Album Review: The Legal Matters – Chapter Three
This record is the third release from the Michigan trio. And this my third time writing a review of their material. Guess why? Because Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith have a demonstrated ability to write, play and sing highly melodic rockin’ tunes. The cheery “Light Up the Sky” hints that Chapter Three is going to be a certain kind of appealing rock. Pleasing as that tune may be, it only scratches at the surface of the group’s abilities.
“Independence Well Spent” has an uber-heavy riff that leads into a lilting tune. It’s the kind of music that easily transcends that rock subgenre I’m endeavoring to avoid mentioning here. The band’s intelligent use of analog-sounding synth lines here and there adds another layer to their guitar/bass/trio sound. And the genre-defying continues with tunes like “That’s All,” with spaghetti western guitar textures), the piano-centric “The Painter,” plaintive, Beach Boys-influenced pop of “Don’t Read Between the Lines,” weepy balladeering of “Pain,” and so on.
Throughout the album, the group’s wonderful close harmony work is always a treat. If your thing is melodic, midtempo rock a la Badfinger and Matthew Sweet, this album deserves a place in your collection. (The same is true for the band’s previous two albums.)
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.