Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Mat Kearney: City of Black and White

Release date: May 19 2009
Genre: Rock, pop, acoustic, CCM
Length: 50:02
Label: Blackbird studios
Similar artists: Big daddy weave; the Script; the Fray; Cold Play
Rating: 4/5

An artist that has more similar artists than most you have heard, and yet an artist that has his own flow and sound. This, Mat's third studio album comes after his critically acclaimed first main stream album 'nothing left to lose'. Following an album with as much success as that is difficult, but he does his best in this album. 

The general feel of the album is relatively easy to pick up, typical Kearney. The focus of the album is lyrics, the simple instrumentals throughout the album testify to that. It takes guts for a solo artist to rely so heavily on his lyrics and his voice. In 'nothing left to lose', the reason for his success was this, the fact that he could captivate you through his voice. He is still captivating. The album gets slower and slower as the album goes on, with the most upbeat songs in the first four tracks. As the album slows, so does the mood of the songs, the lyrics get deeper and you begin to see deeper into Kearney's soul. 

There was one single from the album Closer to love. The choice of this song as the single was wise. The intro has a synth, which adds another dimension to the song. The flow of the song is tangible and makes for a good fit. 

As a lyricist, Kearney is second to none, 'nothing left to lose' and 'city of black and white' show a mastery in the ability of Kearney to tell a story. He has a lot of help on his records but this isn't the case of too many chefs spoiling the broth, rather, the many people that helped on the album have helped to create a strong final product. The goal of all of Kearney's albums is to tell a story. He does not simply write music to fit into the scene, he focuses his attention in telling a story, and these stories come alive in each and every song. 

The lack of triumphant room-smashing instrumentals does not detract from the album, Kearney's voice lends itself to the music he sings (obviously). Do not think that you will be missing out on the instruments through listening to this album, the music put forward through this album is truly great and should not be simply passed over. 

The bottom line of this album is what music you enjoy. I think that given the chance, everyone can enjoy this music, whether you think you are too old or too young, or even too hipster, I think that this album can be enjoyed by everyone. I do have to add something at this stage, do not just get this album, get all of Mat Kearney's albums, they are all as unique as the last. If you are looking for a good constant in your music, you found your guy.

Song of the week goes to: Fire and Rain

Have a rocking week everyone

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