STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 170339-28657 LABEL: Tomorrow Music FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Nashville-based recording artist Mat Kearney took the bold decision to break ranks with Republic Records in order to release his fifth full album and this move seems to have a given him the creative freedom to explore different styles and sounds. As a result, the breezy chart fodder of the opener "Better Than I Used To Be" with all its EDM blips and weird vocal effects sits next to the reggae-tinged "Don't Cry For Me" - an ode to his young daughter - whilst the sublime "Fortress" showcases Kearney's ability to half rap half sing his message to good effect amidst a conglomeration of electric and organic sounds. Elsewhere, the ukulele-led song of worship "Face To Face" is perhaps Kearney's most direct reference to his faith yet - something he has kept locked away and nameless on previous releases - and there are other moments where one senses his break from Republic has offered him the liberty to talk more about matters close to his heart. As has been noted many times throughout his fairly lengthy career, there's no getting away from the fact that Kearney sounds an awful lot like Chris Martin of Coldplay - something he himself mentions in passing on "Money" where ironically he sounds like Jack Johnson - and hopefully his newfound artistic autonomy will help this talented artist finally find his own identity on future releases.
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