Friday, 9 December 2011

Album Review: Mat Kearney - Young Love

Unusual name-spellings aside (Kearney apparently adopted the one 'T' version of his name after finding an error on his birth certificate which had him down as "Mathew"), Young Love is the fourth studio album from the American singer/songwriter.

The first thing that strikes you as you listen to this album is how much his voice sounds like Coldplay's Chris Martin. Scarily similar. I mean so alike in sound that mid-way through the album I was still checking that the album cover wasn't in fact Mr. Martin in a stripey top and flat cap. It wasn't. Proceed.

The comparison is a huge compliment. Kearney's voice is rich, textured and has a vast range - even managing to pull off some mild vanilla rap. No really. In Ships In The Night and Chasing The Light he delivers a folk-sounding rap which keeps pace with the hand clap beats and synthy drums which are so prevalent throughout the album.

Songs like Down and Young, Dumb and In Love showcase Kearney's story-teller lyrics and conversational style of delivery (when he's not faux-rapping of course) which is reminiscent of his hero Paul Simon.

Hey Mama and She Got The Honey are pretty little ditties which are the perfect soundtracks for summer days and cold beer consumption. In contrast to these cheery melodies are the more mellow acoustic guitar tracks like Learning To Love Again and the album closer, Rochester. The latter song telling the story of his father who is trying to "rip that boy from Rochester right out my chest".

As a whole the album is a bit too repetitive and samey. Perfect for lazy days and summer festivals but not one you'd have on repeat at home. Coldplay fans will heart him.

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