Thursday, 02 July 2015

Mat Kearney - City Of Black And White (Sony)

Mike Kearney Oregon's Mat Kearney is one of many singer-songwriters from the US that haven't yet made even the smallest ripple in the UK. With Jason Mraz finally getting the recognition he deserves, perhaps it's Mat's turn to take the spotlight.

New listeners will be fooled into thinking Chris Martin has embarked on a solo career, because the similarity at times between the two is extraordinary. Mix in a little Darden Smith to make it less whiney, and you have the exact ingredients for Mat Kearney. This is his second album, but it's a huge step up from his 2006 debut. It has a bigger sound and an air of ambition and intent, born from successful tours with the likes of The Fray and Sheryl Crow.

Opener 'All I Have' is a slightly corny, thumpingly acoustic guitar-driven song about heartbreak. You can hear the shiny Nashville production instantly. 'Fire And Rain' and 'Here We Go' follow a similar template with love and loss as its subject, and although the production is polished, it doesn't squeeze the life out of the songs.

'Closer To Love' is the US single, with a gentle keyboard backing interrupted by drum beats after 30 seconds before the big chorus. Kearney sings about being "one phone call from our needs", and he tells us it's a song about how just one ring of the phone can bring bad news.

'Lifeline' and 'New York to California' are songs inspired by his extensive touring of the last few years, and follow the simple but effective style of the previous tracks, although the latter is the most obvious so far that could soundtrack an episode of Brothers and Sisters or One Tree Hill.

Other highlights include 'Annie' and 'Straight Away' but there isn't a bad track here. Kearney says he listened a lot to U2's 'War' while making this, and while that's not really evident, other hero Tom Petty is more noticeably referenced.

There's nothing particularly clever or original on this album, but how much of today's music is? Mat Kearney has a wonderfully pained vocal and mixes this with terrific tunes that creep up on you so quickly, you find yourself singing along to every track before you know it.

Rating: 4.5/5

Send to friend Send this page to a friend | Gig ticket Ticket listing and gig dates

RELATED CONTENT ON THE DAILY MUSIC GUIDE
 
06/06/2009
Reviews
Mat Kearney - City Of Black And White (Sony)
US singer Mat Kearney releases his second album, unleashing a hidden gem - but how long will it stay obscure for?
 
02/07/2015 
Weblink
Mat Kearney's official site
http://www.matkearney.com/
 
YOUR COMMENTS
 
Let everyone know what you think by leaving your comments. Please read our terms and conditions before posting.

Your Name
Location
Comments
 


 
 
STORY DETAILS
Published: 06/06/2009 at 02:59
Author: David Spencer
Links: Permanent Link Articles Author Blog
Bookmark and Share
MULTIMEDIA CONTENT        New!
CITYBREAK SPONSORS
MORE FROM DMG
Copyright 2001-2015 DailyMusicGuide; All Rights Reserved