This is a review of "Bullet" recorded by Matt Joe Gow. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2006.
There’s no denying Matt Joe Gow’s sincerity as he breathily sings “You were my one true love”, but the snaps adorning his website of him strumming in a white vest akin to an aftershave advert, paint an uncomfortable picture. The New Zealander has a big corporate American vibe to his otherwise tender and intimate guitar ditties. Like a soundtrack for the “dire” moments of crisis in Dawson’s Creek, Gow’s time in the UK appears to have taught him little about the humility of British music in the same vein. Yet the likes of Blunt and Gray have proved there is a cash cow just waiting to be plundered by one man, a guitar, a pair of GAP jeans and some problems, so maybe we’re not so innocent after all. It’s ironic that music which leans so strongly on the side of sentiment is often that which feels so hollow. Vocally Gow is strong, musically he knows how to arrange a tune but this is so safe it's gaudy. You can hear Jeff Buckley or Springsteen, but there’s also too much time spent on beaches far away from the real world with girls whose daddy paid for them to be there. Ordinary and meaning it, it's unlikely Gow will break the mould and for that American record execs should be queuing around the block.