Reviewed by Jeremy Williams
Mat Kearney has benefited from broad musical exposure, getting into hip-hop as a teenager and then coming across the college rock scene later. The result is a fantastic crossbreed, an acoustic white-boy rap fusion like Jason Downs or a less gravelly Everlast. "Trainwreck" is a perfect example, opening with hip-hop beats and a simple guitar riff, then rapped verses and a big radio friendly chorus. Add a skilful way with words to the mix, and you have a winning formula. Kearney studied and wrote poetry at university, and matches his laid back prose to a half spoken-word, half rap delivery. He turns his distinctive voice to a wide range of topics, from the temptations of modern culture in "Girl America" to a guy contemplating the demolition of his school in "Undeniable", bringing spiritual truth out of everyday stories. There are observations on car crashes, break-ups, even shootings, with "Bullet" re-interpreting John 15:13: "I would take a bullet for you, I would lose it all, I'd take my fall, to show you it's for real." Musical styles vary too, with "Middle" sounding like Coldplay, and the stripped back guitar and cello "Call Me" reminiscent of Jack Johnson's bonfire-on-the-beach folk songs. Covering a whole gamut of genres and exploring a variety of lyrical themes, 'Bullet' is a refreshing and dynamic album that is definitely worth checking out.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary
according to release region or product version.