Treading new paths in an unencountered musical playing field is the name of the game when it comes to Wolfgang Muthspiel’s new album “Vienna Naked” (Material Records). For the first time as a singer on the microphone, the Austrian guitarist with an international reputation dedicates himself to a whole new stylistic realm. Known for being able to masterly interpret jazz in the most varied facets, Wolfgang Muthspiel reinvents himself as a true singer/song writer and convinces fans and critics with this new role. The songs are carried by immensely atmospheric, intimate, beautiful melodies and wonderful poetic lyrics with a lot of depth and a lot of feeling. A more than impressive and captivating piece of music.
“Vienna Naked” is probably Wolfgang Muthspiel’s most personal musical statement. Venturing close to pop contexts as never before, the guitarist extraordinaire created fascinating multi-layered songs that reveal a little-known side of him. Stylistically moving somewhere between the poles of folk, country and rock, the multiple awarding-winning musician born 1965 in the Styrian town of Judenburg has contructed his own interpretation of modern songwriting, which gets right to the point in the most wonderful manner and produces an extremely dense atmosphere. Although he cites as influences Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Police, Leonard Cohen and Prince, he certainly has a completely independent approach.
The tonal range of the fourteen pieces is broad and ranges from subtle, melancholic and spine-tingling moments to rock-style tinkering. Musically located at the highest level, “Vienna Naked” grows as a whole with Muthspiel’s very vivid and expressive vocals and turns into an incomparable and intense listening experience. With a clear, but also with a seemingly vulnerable voice, the native Styrian stretches the tension from the first to the very last note, which all exerts an almost magical appeal. It is nearly impossible not to be touched by the songs.
In summary one can say that Wolfgang Muthspiel has once again landed a successful hit with “Vienna Naked”, which will surely not only inspire music lovers of jazzy tunes.
translated from German
[Photos: Laura Pleifer]