Matt Sassano released his first full-length album, Transcend, in July of 2019. Once you start the album you realize that you are in for an eclectic musical experience. All of the tracks include a combination of pop, electronic/EDM, and a bit of rock thrown in there for good measure. It definitely has a groove that embeds into your mind. I could see this album working as a good workout go-to, because it left me tapping my foot and bopping my head.
The album has a blend of upbeat and more melodic numbers. The album comes out of the gate with “Showdown,” which has a definite hard-hitting EDM sound, especially with the driving lyrics “It’s my time to rise / So you can stack the odds against me… / but prepare for me to strike back / I’ll fight back and win this war.”
If you think that you have a pulse on the musical stylings of this album, the very next song “Lose Yourself” throws in even more eclectic musical stylings, starting out melodic and then moving into more of an electronic feel with a some rap/rock sound. The fourth track, “Save Me,” has a more gritty melodic sound that is a cry for help and salvation, especially with the lyrics “I’m looking to you now / Can you be my escape? / Can you take me back to a time and a place / before this darkness wrapped me in chains?” The album ebbs and flows in and out of this EDM/pop/rock/rap feel throughout.
The entire album just has a groove that one can’t help but jam to from the first listen. The back half of the album does not let up, with tracks like “Ghost” and the electronic anthem “Not Dead Yet:” “You have that target on my head, but I’m not dead yet.” The following song, “Hollywood Machine,” is particularly pointed in its message, speaking truthfully about the state of following whatever is being “preached” from Hollywood blindly. There are two different versions of “A Devil Won’t Change His Ways,” one with guest Laurel Wright, which adds some nice variety.
Overall, I am highly impressed with this initial outing from Matt Sassano. I definitely recommend giving this album a listen. It is lyrically diverse, as well as playing with the various music stylings throughout while never slipping into something comfortable or boring.