Matt Stern I'm Not the Only One

With the exception of two quieter ballads, Matt Stern's third release, and second EP, is a groovy blend of Marvin Gaye-style slow burners and smooth jam sessions. The Montrealer's languid, yet soulful, delivery is tailor-made for this sound. The beat-driven funk of "I Wanna see You" and "I'm Not the Only One," along with the Motown sway of "Come Over to Me," are successful departures from Stern's earlier, more folk-infused work. Although the songs featured have greater hit potential, it's disappointing that Stern limits himself to singing only in English. The former McGill language and linguistics student, who cites musical influences ranging from Habib Koité and Ben Harper to Bob Dylan and Patty Griffin, has produced music in French, Spanish and Japanese (collaborating with Tokyo group Be the Voice). I'm Not the Only One is without a doubt a milestone in Matt Stern's musical career, but one that only hints at his vast potential. There will certainly be many more milestones to come. (Independent)