Later That Same Year
Matthews Southern Comfort
Released: April 1971
Chart Peak: #72
Weeks Charted: 15
Matthews 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.
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.
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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