Review by Abby Kenna & Staff
“Stand Up Again” by Matt Cusson and Terron Brooks is an emotive ballad that blossoms with bold harmonies and a confident arc of arrangement. Illustrating the struggles of the pandemic as well as the community that can emerge from it, the lyricism is dynamically captivating and relatable for listeners.
“Stand Up Again” opens with a wave of rich, warm harmonies, the layers of vocals rising as one. A light piano flutters over the vocals, adding movement to the striking flow of harmony. As the lead vocals enter the mix, the harmonies fade out, leaving the verse isolated with just the melody and the vivid piano. This arrangement choice emphasizes the lyrics, as Matt Cusson and Terron Brooks navigate the hardships of the pandemic. By beginning the song with simply vocals and piano, the raw emotion of “Stand Up Again” is highlighted as the expressive lyrics and progression stand alone:
“So now it seems
Our feet are in shackles
We’ll take on the war
After losing the battle…”
With the return of the background vocals, the chorus explodes in a burst of hopeful energy. By the second chorus, Matt Cusson and Terron Brooks’ voices meld together in tight harmonies, woven almost as one. Their voices brighten the song, transforming this story into one of joy and determination to emerge from these struggles with spirit. They sing with conviction, funneling their hardships and successes into each word to create this welcoming sense of support and community that emanates from “Stand Up Again”. Underneath the vocals, the piano moves in chromatic motion, propelling the song forward with colorful passing notes, and a steady drum groove joins the mix. The gradual build of the arrangement itself aids the story of “Stand Up Again”, as it grows from a delicately beautiful, yet hesitant beginning to a confident, radiant resolution:
“So we fall like the rain
And we find our way back up again
We were knocked down
But in the end
We Stand up again.”
“Stand Up Again” is a powerful journey of hope, navigating the despair of the pandemic through a purposeful piano arrangement that blossoms into a bold declaration of courage. The rich harmonies of Matt Cusson and Terron Brooks fill this track with warmth, radiating the message of the lyrics through each note. “Stand Up Again” is truly touching, with every aspect of the composition working harmoniously to uplift listeners.
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About Matt Cusson MattCusson is an award winning singer/songwriter who continues to wow audiences all over the world. Born and raised in The Berkshires in Massachusetts, he has worked with many of worlds biggest artist. Whether it’s playing piano, singing, songwriting, producing, or arranging, Matt has worked with such as James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Dua Lipa, Christina Aguilera, Anderson Paak, Idina Menzel, India.Arie, Dave Koz, The Roots, CeeLo Green, Megan Hilty, Boyz II Men, Javier Colon, mentor Brian McKnight and many, many others. Matt's debut album released in 2009 was receive with rave reviews and won many songwriter and performance awards including, The John Lennon Songwriting Contests biggest award, "The Maxell Song of The Year", a Billboard Songwriting Award, and several others.
Matt currently is also the winner of the 2017 John Lennon Songwriting Award for Best R&B song for “Leaving L.A.”. His 2012 Christmas EP is one of the most played each December on Surius XM. Some of Matt's TV performances include "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno", "The View", "Christmas in Rockefeller Center", "Live with Kelly and Michael", "Live with Regis and Kelly", "Rachael Ray Show", and was often the "One Man House Band" on VH1's "Big Morning Buzz Live". Matt has also recently filmed a PBS Special with Megan Hilty. He is currently cowriting and producing a theme song for NASA’s “LRO”, writing and producing the theme song for the latest documentary on Lady Diana entitled "Lady Di”, as well as plenty of new, original music for his own release. His new album, “Only Human”, and new single “You Make it Easy” are available now. And 2 new Christmas songs with 9 time Grammy Award nominee, Dave Koz coming this holiday season!
For more information on Matt Cusson, please visit his website.