by Angela Tricarico
Matt Doyle may be best known for his stage acting but his debut album, Uncontrolled, proves that he is capable of so much more. Since the album’s release on February 26, the Spring Awakening, War Horse and Book of Mormon alum has been garnering accolades from fans and music professionals alike who are impressed with his emergence as an independent artist.
Uncontrolled, the follow-up to the two EPs Doyle released in 2011 (Daylight) and 2012 (Constant), is his first full-length album and it was fully funded using a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign had a goal of $25,000 which would have been just enough to produce the album. Any additional donations would go towards album promotion. With the help of 412 backers, a total of $38,497 went towards the creation of the album. With this money, Doyle was also able to film a music video.
“Moment”, the first single from Uncontrolled, was released with the accompanying music video on February 19. The song is about taking control back after an intimate moment with an ex-lover after a long separation. The music video brings the song to life with Erik Altemus (best known for playing Lewis in the 2013 revival of Pippin) playing Doyle’s ex-boyfriend as they rendezvous through the city. It’s playful, sexy, and the use of lighting and shadows is extremely fitting with the song’s rock vibe.
Uncontrolled is a mix of 13 covers, previously released original songs, and new songs co-written by Doyle. The new tracks come from an extremely personal and sometimes lonely place for Doyle and deal with being in love, but also heartbreak and depression.
The album’s sound is very different from his two previous EPs. It varies from pure pop, to orchestra-driven ballads, with sounds of jazz and blues that shine through in most of the songs. Each song is very different, but they fit together seamlessly in the final product. They also highlight Doyle’s strong vocals.
The first song on the album, “You Made Me Love You”, was featured in the 2011 film Private Romeo, which Doyle played Glenn/Juliet in. The other previously released songs are “Home” from the Daylight EP and “What You Stole” from Constant.
One of the most candid moments on Uncontrolled is an original track titled “When I Let You Go” about Doyle’s breakup with Ryan Steele (Newsies, Matilda). The lyrics in the piano driven ballad are haunting and well-executed.
Among the best tracks are the happier “Fall For Me”, a song heavily influenced by the sounds of 1950’s, and “Love Uncontrolled”, a love song with a distinct blues sound and lots of belting.
Doyle celebrated the release of Uncontrolled with a concert at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City and is planning a tour later in the year to support the album.
Uncontrolled is available on iTunes.