Category: "Music: Don't Listen"
I consider Jack Johnson to be the most popular "first name last name" singer/songwriter over the past few years. It might be because of that loosely-based criteria or because Mat Kearney's voice reminds me a little of Jack that I compare the two. The album bounces back and forth a few times with Mat singing or speaking his lyrics; songs in the latter category would certainly be more similar to Gym Class Heroes. And if I may step back in time only a few years to make another comparison, Mat Kearney's voice reminds me a little of Everlast. Sometimes I even hear some Counting Crows in his voice. I hate to say it, but the more I listen to this, the most all of the songs start to sound the same. This album would be much better if he stuck to singing; he has a good voice, even if it isn't the most original. There are some good songs, but the album itself is not great. This is a situation when it is great to be able to buy the songs individually.
01. Undeniable I hesitate to call it "rap" and it certainly isn't singing so I will just say that Mat speaks his lyrics in this song to begin the album. I like this song a lot, but it is due more to the chorus, which he actually sings, than the spoken verses. And the song is a nice tribute to a special person.
02. Nothing Left To Lose This title track was the single which put Mat Kearney on my list of artists to research and I believe it has finally made it to the local radio stations (I heard it first on satelite radio). I like the vocal range he shows here. I cannot come close to the high notes, but it is sometimes more fun to sing along with songs like this. Even though I could definitely see this song playing while the credits roll at the end of a bad television drama, I do like it.
03. Crashing Down I like this song, but I feel that it has been done before. I hear what might be a strong Vertical Horizon influence.
04. Girl America Just like Undeniable this is a spoken-word track where the highlight is Mat singing the chorus. I can't say for sure, but this might be a patriotic effort talking about this generation's view of the country.
05. In The Middle The chorus here is probably my favorite part of the entire album. I can just picture the energy at a live show when the whole audience sings along.
06. Can't Break Her Fall Unfortunately there is nothing to say about this song that hasn't already been said about the other songs where he only sings the chorus.
07. What's A Boy To Do This is an oasis in the desert. Just as you are ready to give up on Mat Kearney he makes a good effort with this one. I like this song. In a blind taste test I would probably guess this was Counting Crows, but I still like it.
08. Wait At parts this sounds almost exactly like Undeniable. While I liked Undeniable, I really only think it should be on this album once. Almost three minutes into the song there was a short verse that is worth listening to and well, worth being longer. So much for that brief attempt at a different sound on the album.
09. Bullet We all have our own ways of showing how much we care for our loved ones. I could imagine that this song might make some girl some where swoon...maybe. So here it is - that niche love song you've been looking for all this time if your girl is that girl.
10. All I Need This is the strangest compilation of slow grooves and love jams I have ever come across. Here is another song about that special someone which now has the album begging for some energy. The album started out with a beat and will start to put you to sleep.
11. Renaissance This is a song I have heard before. There is nothing new here.
12. Where We Gonna Go From Here We have found another bright spot on the album. While there isn't anything overly remarkable about this song, I still like it. It didn't bring any of the energy the album needed, but he got away with one here. It didn't bother me.
13. Won't Back Down This is one of the better songs on the album. It is a shame it is hidden at the end, but the disc certainly finishes strongly. His voice with the piano gives almost a John Legend sound. I like this song.
I may have mis-spoken when I introduced "Bossy" as the worst song ever made. If Fergie does not take that title out-right, she sure competes hard for it. Not only has Fergie ruined the hip-hop group The Black-Eyed Peas, but now she has begun her solo career. The beat is decent enough, but who came up with these lyrics? That person should be fired... out of a cannon. Fergie added female sex-appeal and attitude to the laid-back BEP who had no problem releasing two very good albums before she joined. Oh, she also brought bladder-control problems.
I would like to submit this to the committee as the worst song ever made. Kelis is notable only as wife of New York rap mogul Nas. Her name should never come up on any other context. She did have a "popular" song relatively recently, but the only good that came from that was a great Family Guy clip. In "Bossy" the beat is horrible, her lyrics are even worse. It may be an empowering song, in theory, to some women, in a relatively jestful way, but from a serious standpoint the song is awful. Pretty soon there will be two strikes against Nas's career: Kelis making records AND Stillmatic.
(Link to the video)