Not Thinking Straight (album)

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Not Thinking Straight
Matt Fishel Not Thinking Straight Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 8, 2013 (2013-04-08)
LabelYoung Lust
  • Matt Fishel
  • Mark Crew
Matt Fishel chronology
Not Thinking Straight
Cover Boy
Singles from Not Thinking Straight
  1. "Football Song"
    Released: June 7, 2010
  2. "The First Time"
    Released: November 7, 2011
  3. "Behind Closed Doors"
    Released: April 9, 2012
  4. "Testament"
    Released: May 28, 2012
  5. "Radio-Friendly Pop Song"
    Released: March 18, 2013
  6. "When Boy Meets Boy"
    Released: June 3, 2013

Not Thinking Straight is the debut studio album by British singer, songwriter and recording artist Matt Fishel. It was released internationally on April 8, 2013[1][2] through Fishel's own record label Young Lust Records.[3]


Not Thinking Straight was released as both a physical CD (on Bandcamp and Fishel's website store)[4] and a digital download (on iTunes and Amazon worldwide).

Style and themes[edit]

Musically, the album incorporates elements of alternative rock, punk rock, pop punk and rock. It has been described as "a blend of heavy guitars, big vocal harmonies and anthemic choruses".[5] Fishel is openly gay[6] and many of the songs and lyrics on Not Thinking Straight deal candidly with the "joys, pains and experiences of growing up as a gay teenager and young man".[7] The album showcases Fishel's "unique style of songwriting and production"[7] and comprises thirteen tracks that explore love, lust, education, sexuality[7] and "themes and issues surrounding gay life, relationships and experiences".[5] In an interview with RightOutTV, Fishel said of the album: "Some songs are loud, angry and full of energy; some are fun, celebratory or tongue-in-cheek and others are quieter, more reflective and nostalgic."[7] He told Jon Roth of Out Magazine: "There are songs on the album about boyfriends and relationships, coming out and the places I’ve lived, religion, hypocrisy, sexuality and education."[8]

Artwork and album booklet[edit]

The artwork for Not Thinking Straight was created by San Diego comic book artist and illustrator Joe Phillips.[5] The album cover depicts Fishel as a superhero in cartoon form, with a guitar on his back and piano keys around his hands. The words 'Super Fishel Comics' and '#1 First Issue' are also written on the cover. The CD version of the album comes with a sixteen-page colour booklet[4] and the iTunes release comes with a digital eighteen-page colour booklet,[2] each containing full artwork, lyrics, credits and thank yous. Both versions of the album booklet are presented in a comic book format. Each contains eighteen original illustrations by Phillips, with each illustration representing a different song's lyrics and showing images of young gay life and relationships.[5][9]

Singles, remixes and B-sides[edit]

Six singles have been released from Not Thinking Straight: "Football Song" (released June 7, 2010), "The First Time" (released November 7, 2011), "Behind Closed Doors" (released April 9, 2012), "Testament" (released May 28, 2012), "Radio-Friendly Pop Song" (released March 18, 2013) and "When Boy Meets Boy" (released June 3, 2013). An a cappella version of album track "Armitage Shanks (Jamie)" was released as a B-side to the "Football Song" single;[10] Amsterdam remixer/producer Matt Pop provided two remixes of "The First Time" for its single release;[11] the "Behind Closed Doors" single includes both a remix of the song by J Stax and an a cappella version of the song performed by Fishel[12] and the "When Boy Meets Boy" single includes an acoustic version of the song and another remix by Matt Pop.[13]

Music videos[edit]

Official music videos were released for singles "Football Song" (directed by Dan Shipton),[14] "The First Time" (directed by Alexis Dos Santos),[15] "Testament" (directed by Arno),[16] "Radio-Friendly Pop Song" (produced by Tyjens Media and animated by Kenneth Wilcox)[17] and "When Boy Meets Boy" (directed and animated by Joe Phillips).[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Howard Stump of music blog Soundtrack To My Day said Not Thinking Straight was: "smart, funny, and still remains honest and very real. And when you pair honesty and smart up so well, it can't help but be kinda sexy, too. Stylistically [there is] a wonderfully eclectic feeling to [Fishel's] music. And while he tells universal stories of love, loss and life, Matt doesn't shy away from the fact he is a gay man, using that experience to enrich the lyrics....[it's] a wonderful journey, touching on aspects of life from teen to adult. The album touches my heart in so many ways, at times making me smile, or give a sigh, or even drop a tear or two. It speaks to our shared histories of love, hurt, and confusion, all part of growing up."[19] Music journalist and broadcaster JD Doyle of Queer Music Heritage said of Not Thinking Straight: "I just love the new Matt Fishel CD! I've been calling his music 'Political Power Pop''s music that never even thought about being in the closet."[20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Not Thinking Straight won the Album Of The Year award at the 2013 Co-operative Respect 'Loved By You' Awards, voted for by the public.[21][22]

Co-operative Respect 'Loved By You' Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2013 Not Thinking Straight Album of the Year Won

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Matt Fishel.
All songs produced by Fishel and Mark Crew except for "Football Song", produced by Fishel.

CD and digital download
1."Radio-Friendly Pop Song"3:49
3."Behind Closed Doors"3:30
4."The First Time"3:15
7."Seventeen Again"4:42
8."Armitage Shanks (Jamie)"2:47
10."Football Song"4:00
11."Boxer Shorts & Razor Blades"3:43
13."When Boy Meets Boy"3:45

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for Not Thinking Straight are adapted from the album's liner notes.[2][23]

  • Album executive producer: Matt Fishel
  • All songs written and arranged by Matt Fishel
  • Matt Fishel - All lead and background vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards, synths and programming
  • Mark Crew - Keyboards and programming
  • Jonas Jalhay - Guitars and Bass
  • Siri Steinmo - Additional background vocals on "Testament" and "Behind Closed Doors"
  • Marcus Bonfanti - Additional guitars on "Football Song"
  • All songs (except "Football Song") - Produced by Matt Fishel and Mark Crew / Recorded, engineered and mixed by Mark Crew at Unit 24, London UK / Additional instruments and all background vocals performed, arranged, recorded and engineered by Matt Fishel at Superfishel Studios, London UK
  • "Football Song" - Produced, arranged, performed, engineered and mixed by Matt Fishel at Superfishel Studios, London UK / Additional mixing by Jos Jorgensen
  • All songs mastered by Streaky for Streaky Mastering
  • Album artwork by Joe Phillips
  • "Football Song" illustration by Jacopo Camagni
  • Matt Fishel photograph by Claire Newman-Williams


  1. ^ "This week's new releases 08-04-2013", Official Charts Company, UK, 8 April 2013. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Not Thinking Straight by Matt Fishel on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  3. ^ "About". Matt Fishel. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c d Hopps, Gordon. "Songs In The Key Of Gay - Matt Fishel", Bent Magazine, UK, 15 March 2013. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  6. ^ Watts, Laurence. "Interview: Matt Fishel on his new album Not Thinking Straight", Pink News, UK, 21 April 2013. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d "Matt Fishel is Not Thinking Straight", RightOut TV, Canada. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  8. ^ Roth, Jon. "Matt Fishel's First Time", Out Magazine, United States, 16 December 2011. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Out Radio: April 2013, Part 1 - JD Doyle Interviews Matt Fishel", JD Doyle, Out Radio, United States, April 2013. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Football Song - Single by Matt Fishel on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  11. ^ "The First Time - Single by Matt Fishel on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Behind Closed Doors - Single by Matt Fishel on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  13. ^ "When Boy Meets Boy - Single by Matt Fishel on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Matt Fishel - Football Song (Official Music Video)" on YouTube, YouTube. 11 October 2009. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Matt Fishel - The First Time (Official Music Video)" on YouTube, YouTube. 30 October 2011. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  16. ^ "Matt Fishel - Testament (Official Music Video)" on YouTube, YouTube. 20 May 2012. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Matt Fishel - Radio-Friendly Pop Song (Official Music Video)" on YouTube, YouTube. 10 March 2013. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  18. ^ "Matt Fishel - When Boy Meets Boy (Official Music Video)" on YouTube, YouTube. 02 June 2013. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  19. ^ Stump, Howard. "Matt Fishel * Not Thinking Straight", Soundtrack To My Day, United States, 2 May 2013. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  20. ^ "JD Doyle Interviews Matt Fishel April 2013 The Script", Queer Music Heritage - JD Doyle, United States, April 2013. Retrieved on 9 December 2013.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Well done to @mattfishel who's your 'Album & Song of the Year' in our 'Loved by You' awards". 19 December 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  23. ^ Not Thinking Straight (CD liner / Young Lust Records). Matt Fishel. Europe / United Kingdom. 2013. p. 16. YLR001CD.

External links[edit]