Artist: Mat Kearney
Album: Nothing Left To Lose
In A Word: Important
"So many artists try and get us to ‘hear’
them by throwing candy pop at the stereo and hiding
a track of real thoughts at the end of their disks.
Kearney is right there from the start. It’s
a ‘listen to me’ type of record."
Mat Kearney, according to most of my American sources, is
the music to have in your iPod. After a friend of mine handed
me an album called Bullet (Kearney’s debut) last year
and said to me with a stern voice “This is the best
album of the year”, I smiled politely and promptly put
it in the glove box of the car.
Months later I decided to give it a go.
I have not taken Kearney off my high rotation list since.
Nothing Left to Lose just solidifies the critical
acclaim Kearney has received. With a voice not too far left
of Chris Martin (Coldplay) a hip-hop sensibility of Michael
Franti (Spearhead) and the sweetness of melody that Jack Johnson
has brought to so many dinner tables, you’ll be hard
pressed to be disappointed with Kearney.
It’s not just the apparent effortlessness of the songs
or the beautiful sparse orchestrations, it’s the social
and spiritual conscience that the songs carry. There is the
maturity of songs like Undeniable (“It’s
undeniable how brilliant you are; In an unreliable world you
shine like a star”) or the coming of age of In The
Middle (“Twenty-five here I am with freshman LPs;
one life to write one, two years to repeat”) or the
honesty of Bullet (“It doesn’t matter
if they call me wrong; Doesn’t matter if they steal
my song; Doesn’t matter if we’re all along...’Cause
I would take a bullet for you; I’d cross any line, I’d
swim across the sea; I would take a bullet for you”)
The social conscience of Girl America, Can’t Break
Her Fall, the story telling of Wait and What’s
A Boy To Do do well to gain the respect of the listener
and make us take notice of what Kearney is trying to say.
So many artists try and get us to ‘hear’ them
by throwing candy pop at the stereo and hiding a track of
real thoughts at the end of their disks. Kearney is right
there from the start. It’s a ‘listen to me’
type of record.
There is plenty that’s being said and there are plenty
of reasons to listen.
Justin Michael can be heard weekday
mornings on Geelong-based radio station 96.3 - www.rhemafm.org.au.
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