Damn, if Matt Keating isn’t the best Americana singer/songwriter that’s yet to find the love he deserves. And damn, if This Perfect Crime isn’t one of the best albums the man’s ever made. Well, maybe… That statement needs some qualification. The fact is, every album Keating’s released since the beginning of his career has been exceptional, so much so that his lack of wider recognition is indeed a crime, one that ought to be rectified immediately.
Hopefully, then, This Perfect Crime will prove to be the effort that does just that, and if the title references any past injustice, it’s all the more reason for the wrong to be righted now, and not a moment later. Keating has a gift for writing well-wrought narratives that go to the very essence of emotion and humanity, while ensuring the desire to return again and again. From the opening onslaught of “When They’ve Thrown You Away,” through the resolute rocker “Mother’s Day” and an unexpected take on the Joan Armatrading classic “I’m Lucky,” this is a set of songs that resonate with richness and resilience. Melody and sentiment are mixed in equal measure, making This Perfect Crime as close to a perfect album as anyone has a right to expect.
Now’s the time to right the wrong. Here’s all the alibi one will ever need.
— BY LEE ZIMMERMAN