Matthew Browning | Love & Grief

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Love & Grief

by Matthew Browning

Enter an artistic journey of betrayal and loss, love, longing, and delight. Organic sonic textures blend with symphonic and sometimes ethnic influences to deliver rich melodic lines over a dramatic harmonic and rhythmic landscape.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Underneath the Willow Tree
7:25 $0.99
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2. Daylight
6:23 $0.99
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3. Fallen Angel
5:48 $0.99
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4. Love & Grief
5:05 $0.99
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5. Lake of Dreams
6:42 $0.99
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6. Your Letter Came Today
5:01 $0.99
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7. I Walked over the Edge
4:49 $0.99
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8. Artificial Sunset
4:20 $0.99
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9. Distant Bodies
6:21 $0.99
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10. Midnight Symphony
4:03 $0.99
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11. Come Away
5:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
What do we do with our unmet desires and unfulfilled longings? Society offers its answers, as do many religious expressions and self-help approaches. The pain of longing can be so great that we often go through life trying to kill our longing and viewing our desires through the eyes of self-contempt. But what if our core longings are a gift, and our¬¬ deepest desires lead us to beauty?

After intimate betrayal led to the end of his marriage, Matthew dove into a journey through his story of relationships, betrayal, forgiveness, love, and loss that ultimately led to the writing of Love & Grief. This album explores the darkness of the soul in its arduous journey toward delight.

The album offers two central perspectives:

First, through storytelling and personal reflection it leads us to a conclusion that were created to know and to give delight. No betrayal, no loss, no broken relationship, no self-contempt, no trauma or abuse can ever change that fact or take away that truth. To know and to give delight is the reason you were born.

“Hope is like a warrior unbound by time,
Fighting the despair that has fragmented your life.”

One of the greatest influences on Matthew’s thinking and writing is the life and work of Martin Buber expressed in his incredible book “I And Thou.” Buber contrasts for us the difference between I-It relationships (objectifying others for their usefulness to us) and I-Thou relationships (recognizing another as wholly other, without prejudice, fully present and open to mystery). This influence can be most plainly seen in the chorus of “Artificial Sunset”:

“Now, we stand in this moment
Where converges our desires and disbelief.
We shed our disguises, we are becoming.
‘Saying I, I say Thou.’”

And again in “Distant Bodies”:

“You don’t have to hide from me tonight.
This is where our shadows kiss the light.
You don’t have to prove who you are.
You can simply be my delight.”

The excerpt above draws on two other significant influences on Matthew’s view of delight, C. S. Lewis’ wonderful little essay, “The Weight of Glory” and Henri Nouwen’s “Life of the Beloved.” These works chip away at the notions of performance-based acceptance and build a framework for life centered around belovedness and being delighted in simply for who we are, not what we do or achieve. As intentionally contemplative as the album is, it aspires to move the listener toward presence, and from fantasy toward reality.

“Grief is the widow of all that I have longed for
Her tears are holy, her waters are delight.
Saltwater washes over every fantasy, she,
She brings my hopes into the light.”

The second core perspective the album offers is, as Matthew says it, “Longing gives us language to experience beauty.” If you had a chance to sit down with Matthew over coffee, he would probably tell you about his love of off-roading in the Colorado Mountains and in the canyonlands of Utah. He says it has become for him a metaphor for this whole idea.

“Every time I go off-roading, I see these offshoots from the main trail I am driving. I have this excitement like a little kid, wondering what might be down this path or that dirt road. There is not enough sunlight in the day for me to explore it all, but I am filled with wonder and so energized by the mystery of it all. The day that I go out in my Jeep, and I feel like I’ve had enough and am no longer drawn to explore—the longing is lost—that would not be a good day! That would be tragic, and would really mark a kind of death to a part of my soul that had been very much alive before. But how often do we approach our longings in life in the same way? We try to kill the longing by satisfying every urge or having every experience. But it is the longing itself that must be protected. It’s how you know you’re still alive. The longing is a goodness. It gives me the capacity and language to experience beauty.”

“I think this is what is meant in the Christian Bible as early as the first few pages when it describes the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It tells the story of how the lust for an unfulfilled experiential knowledge drew two people in an absolute paradise against one another and away from being present to all they had to enjoy. At one point in the album I say, ‘Longing has taught me to breathe.’ The idea behind that line is that when I am able to hold my longing as a goodness, as something to be cherished, I am much more able to be fully present to the ‘trail’ I’m currently on, the season of life I am walking through—disappointments or joyful surprises—a hike with my daughter, a relationship, a symphony performance, or a conversation with a friend. I’ve learned that longing is the language of abundance, and not the language of scarcity.”

The bridge of “I Walked Over the Edge” captures this idea:

“Day after day, I was waiting.
Time was at odds with my heart and my longing.
Now, I’m at rest with my longing.
Longing has taught me to breathe.”

The story arc of the album can be seen in the contrast of the first and last lyrics presented to the listener. The album begins by saying, "She's been lost in desperation. This fight is trying to get the best of her," and concludes with, "All those places that you thought were dead and gone, they'll come alive as we're walking along."

Matthew says, “My hope is that listeners will not only enjoy the musical journey of the album, but that they will also walk away really knowing that they were created to know and to give delight, and with more courage to embrace their longing in the context of meaningful human relationships as well as in their emotional and spiritual journeys. I hope that my telling my stories helps people to more fully engage and love their own.”

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Matthew Browning - 'Love & Grief'
In May 2018, MATTHEW BROWNING wowed me with the spectacular album ‘Love & Grief’. Quite frankly, this digipack has intrigued me once I laid my eyes on the beautiful front-cover painting; and then impressed even more as CD began to spin. Overall, it’s a brilliantly conceived collection of masterful songs, captivating and edifying. On his solo record, Matthew Browning is accompanied by a string of guest musicians who help to create a majestic and rich sound. Namely, they are: Gina Milne (female vocals), Mike Rosebud (b/v), Taylor Johnson (guitars), Michael Rossback (bass), McKenzie Smith (drums), John Arndt (piano & keys). In effect, their common approach scores perfectly well on such criteria as the flawless vocal craftsmanship, a respectable instrumentation, exquisite arrangements with a symphonic backdrop, smooth production and tremendous sound quality. Lasting 61+ min, and comprising of eleven superlative compositions, CD ‘Love & Grief' has the lyrics with real meaning to tell a colorful and touching story. It can strike your heart and soul. Mesmerizing atmosphere is one of the most important factors here. In an album of such high grade, without weak moments, it’s really impossible to pick out highlights (especially, as everything flows together seamlessly). For sure, the space of this record gives Matthew Browning a chance to show off his awesome, expressive and textural voice. The musical splendour reveals a lot of terrific nuances. This release had me thinking for a while: how does it sound like? Well. Try to imagine a work of art with amazing synthesis of influences. At times, the material might be compared to Camel-ish finesse, while the other tracks come pretty close to Sylvan (on their mellow side). Also notable some hues of latter Marillion, the floaty traces of Riversea with undercurrent of Coldplay, and the specific echoes of Muse. There's one song which should please fellow George Harrison fans. All the ingredients mesh into a perfect sonic tapestry. Yes, I've found the details that reminds of certain prominent groups, but that's just a small portion of what's on offer... Anyway, this masterpiece is much better than majority of the other prog-rock albums being released today! I strongly recommend you give it a try.
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