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Later That Same Year
Matthews Southern Comfort

Decca 75264
Released: April 1971
Chart Peak: #72
Weeks Charted: 15

Ian MatthewsMatthews Southern Comfort plays music of the sort that is indispensable for those who own houses in the country with a fireplace and are the recipients of the affections of ladies who cook them organic dinners and wear their wild blonde manes in pigtails much of the time. If this kind of mellow tuneful close-harmony country-tinged polite rock appeals to you as much as it does to me, this band is very much up your alley.

Its heights aren't quite so giddy at the same time that its depths are deeper, but Later That Same Year, Matthews Southern Comfort's third album, nevertheless succeeds at the difficult task of worthily succeeding Second Spring, which to my mind was 1970's premier undiscovered marvel.

Matthews Southern Comfort - Later That Same Year
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As did Spring, Later contains: a couple of light-hearted and sprightly just-for-fun rollicks, Goffin/King's "To Love" and someone named Alan Alderson's "Mare Take Me Home"; a couple of pleasant treatments of currently fashionable composers' works, Jesse Winchester's "Brand New Tennessee Waltz" and Neil Young's "Tell Me Why"; and a generous earful of enchanting low-key laments featuring Ian Matthews' own delicate,

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Matthews Southern Comfort

Matthews Southern Comfort

almost angelic tenor, all of it played most sympathetically and deliciously sung, frequently in three- or four-part harmony.

As guitarist Carl Barnwell's "Sylvie" (an exceedingly clammy affair whose Andrews Sisterish refrain in particular is gorgeous enough to gag on) is indisputably the albums' nadir, so are his other two contributions, "Jonah" and "For Melanie" (whose lack of musical cohesion is more than made up for by its intriguing lyrics), its twin peaks, with Matthews' own exquisitely-textured "And Me" standing only slightly less lofty.

Listen to either Second Spring or this album and you'll join me in fervently hoping that Matthews' recent surprising departure from Southern Comfort (which, double-surprisingly, occurred while they were being most heatedly romanced by a variety of record companies) will result in twice, and not half, as much such delightful music as theirs being made available for us later this same year and thereafter.

- John Mendelsohn, Rolling Stone, 4/15/71.

Bonus Review!

Best known for the hit "Woodstock," this is really the album on which Matthews first finds his direction. A nice mix of covers and originals, this record has held up nicely over the years. * * *

- Jim Worbois, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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