You’ve been deceived by Mat Kearney. You have to have heard his single “Nothing Left to Lose.” The mainstream piece of tripe that sounds like something Chris Martin of Coldplay would do if he branched out into a solo career ala Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty. But that’s the thing, that song is a deception, because that’s probably only a tenth of Kearney’s artistic ability. The real Mat Kearney is a singer songwriter with hip-hop elements that can best be described as Coldplay meets Jason Mraz meets John Mayer. He’s Coldplay because his voice sounds like Chris Martin. That’s unavoidable. He sounds like Mraz because of his hip-hop, but there’s a big difference between what Mraz does and what Kearney does. Kearney’s stuff sounds legitimate where Mraz’s stuff sounds a little campy. He sounds like John Mayer because he’s an excellent song writer with tons of potential, just like John Mayer.
With the exception of “Nothing Left to Lose” every track on this album has a hip-hop element. And every song that has that element is extremely likable with a couple of exceptions. Star tracks on this that you’ve probably missed include the second/first single “Undeniable”, “Girl America”, and especially “Wait.” “Wait” is another one of my favorite tracks of 06, because it’s so versatile- there are like four different styles in the song, which is uncanny. And every style moves into the next brilliantly and can be switched back on a dime. Mat Kearney is undeniably (pun intended) one of the best new artists that came out last year. Until the next album comes out there is more than enough on this album to keep you entertained.