Many creative professionals, interestingly, claim they know when they’ve truly “made it” talent-wise—when experience, skill, and a love for their work culminate to result in the highest-quality art they’ve ever crafted. While it can’t be said for sure that Parker Longbough has entered into his own, it certainly looks as though he has, given his masterpiece latest album, Bridges to Nowhere.
Longbough—known by his legal name, Matthew Witthoeft, to his friends, family, and fans in his native Anchorage, Alaska—isn’t new to the music scene. The veteran musician, composer, writer, and performer first rose to prominence as a member of the successful Alaskan band Uncle Jesse. After the group split, Witthoeft proceeded to perform with a number of acts and bands under the now-established Longbough moniker, and not long after that, he released his first solo album, Commander Comatose. The well-received work deserved all the critical acclaim it garnered, but truthfully, Longbough has outdone himself with Bridges to Nowhere.
From the second the album’s first track, “Hall Pass” begins, it’s clear that the aforementioned culmination of experience, skill, and interest has fallen upon Longbough. His abilities to seamlessly fuse several different instruments and tones, and more importantly, to perfectly match these tones with well-suited vocals cannot be understated. What’s more is that no single sound, pitch, melody, temple, and/or instrument appears to be off-limits, for Longbough.
The larger significance of this diversity of sound is that Bridges to Nowhere never grows stale, boring, or tired. Furthermore, much in the style of Green Day’s experimental Nimrod masterpiece, a vast array of sounds and types of songs can be found on the album, all of them suited for a particular mood or setting. Listeners can rock out to “Hall Pass” and be made to think with “Sophia Loren Look – Alike” just one track later. The musical diversity of “Super Shitty” speaks for itself, and inspiring tunes like “Pleasure Receptors”, as well as the adventurous “Mandy, my Bad” are astonishingly found on the same album.
Moreover, Longbough’s maturity and potential as a songwriter is, more than ever before, demonstrated in Bridges to Nowhere. The lyrics are filled with purpose, generally speaking, and again, they perfectly fit each of their respective songs. The biggest byproduct of this lyrical mastery, as time will tell, will likely be the long-term success and admiration of the work. It’s not entirely out of the question that Bridges to Nowhere will be adored half a century or longer from now.
This potential longevity isn’t common, nor is the overall quality of Bridges to Nowhere. Parker Longbough has hit a homerun, and anyone interested in unique instrument mixes, meaningful lyrics, and a plainly solid album shouldn’t hesitate to check Bridges to Nowhereout now. The just-released work dropped officially on June 2, on CD and through digital download, and we therefore can’t be sure just how far and high it’ll climb, nor how popular it’ll be.
But all signs indicate that fans across the country and the globe will be clamoring for a performance from Longbough after hearing his latest work.