Mat with One T: A Music Review

You know what I love about my blog? The niche.

What niche, you say?

EXACTLY.

I write about anything that I think is cool or funny or inspirational because I hope some of you feel the same way. (And hey, if I can throw in a giveaway or two and share the wealth, I’m all for it). So I got kind of excited when I was asked to do a music review.

There’s a new album out by Mat Kearney. That’s Mat with one T. It’s called “Young Love” and I was asked to review it. When I accepted the gig, I sat patiently waiting for my download code to arrive via email. And instead, guess what I got?

I know. I wasn’t sure what to do with it either. I googled it and apparently it is a Compact Disc (aka “CD”) which was a commonly accepted format of music introduced in the 80s. It’s cute, isn’t it?

Seriously, it was kind of nice to put my hands back on a CD. Not because I need to feel it in my hands (because that thing went straight into my Mac and got directly imported into iTunes). It’s because I get to read the lyrics and the liner notes.

I KNOW!! I forgot about them too!!

So here we have a new CD by Mat Kearney and I’m supposed to review it and I’ve never officially done a music review. I made up my own process and here’s how I came up with my assessment.

1. Burned the CD to my laptop and listened to it in the background while I was working. It annoyed me. Not because of the music. It’s because I’m one of those weird types that can’t think while music is playing.

2. Put the CD in my car and listened to it while driving. THIS is what I needed to do because this is when I listen to most of my music.

3. Listened to it when I was in a good mood. Listened to it when I was in a melancholy mood.

4. Let my 4 year old listen to it and give me the thumbs up and thumbs down on every song (because Mommy can be indecisive).

I’m ready to tell you what I think.

FIrst of all, I know who Mat Kearney is. You may not recognize the name but I bet you have heard this song.

Yeah, that was from another album but I wanted to give you a frame of reference. I don’t remember when I heard this song first but I know I have it in my iTunes Library. So I was totally cool with listening to his new album.

Turns out that I started listening to the new album and I also knew a song on there. “Hey Mama” has been playing on the radio. I instantly recognized it and it instantly got ingrained in my head (in a good way). In fact, when I was listening to it in my car, I started playing the imaginary drums on my steering wheel (we all do that right?).

If you click on his boombox in the Thinglink below, you should be able to hear the song.

As for the rest of the album? Here’s how I rate it.

Singability: Can I sing to it?

I’m a horrible singer and yet I still enjoy doing it. When it is cranked in my car, can I sing along and keep my voice kind sorta in the same pitch? YES! This is a winner for singing. In the car. Alone.

Danceability: Can I dance to it? And would I want to?

I’m also a horrible dancer and I only like to dance when I’ve had far too many expensive drinks at someone else’s wedding. That said, the beat is a little slow (except for the first song) to be catchy dance pop. But I’m totally okay with that.

Respectability: Did he write his own stuff?

I tend to like singer-songwriter types. Mat fits the bill here. He wrote the lyrics and music (or co-wrote) on all songs. And he plays guitar. That’s hot.

Musicality: I thought I made that word up but it’s real.

He’s a decent singer. Not an awesome singer. He doesn’t have a lot of range. He sings and does some pseudo-rap and I like the style on most songs. But if I had to sound like a music critic, I’d say his voice sounds a little overproduced.

Lyricality: Yes, that’s a real word too.

I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes forget to listen to the words. If it has a good beat and rhythm and melody, I’ll sing away without even realizing what I’m singing (example: Pink’s song “U and Ur Hand”). So my husband has to remind me to stop and listen to the lyrics every once in a while. Mat is all about the love. He’s recently married so we should all expect that. What I wasn’t expecting was hearing a lot of “Hallelujah” in his music. But I did.

And here’s what I learned:

iTunes classifies this as religious music. Not that it matters but I was a little curious. Turns out he was somewhat classified as a “Christian artist” a few years ago. Apparently, being open about your faith can sometimes pigeonhole the art you create.

I’m going to give the album a non-denominational thumbs-up. Not all songs are winners so I recommend you do what I do and buy the songs you like on iTunes.

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy of the CD by One2One Network and asked to provide my honest review. I am also being offered tickets to see Mat Kearney in concert on September 18th and if I am able to score backstage passes, I will most likely change this entire post to nothing but a glowing review.

  • Suzanne

    Too funny about the CD thing. I was watching the History channel (geek alert) and the show was about technology in music (remember the cassette?) Anyway, I’ve listened to Mat’s songs. He’s cool.

    The last time I bought a CD? Can’t remember, but I just downloaded a song from iTunes 2 days ago!

    • Anonymous

      I’m sorry to say that I remember when records were cool. And yes, I was also around for the era of 8 track tapes. Who needs tangible objects when we have these great downloadable things!

  • http://lostandforgotten.wordpress.com/ Marta

    I can’t remember the last time I had a real cd either. I spotified him and I’m pretty sure I’ve heard him before, good stuff!

    • Anonymous

      I forgot about Spotify. I signed up for that a while ago. Maybe it’s time to check it out??

  • Anonymous

    Last real CD I purchased? NKOTB!

    I do miss being able to see who wrote and song and looking for lyrics, etc.

    • Anonymous

      Okay. That’s embarrassing that you listen to them. I’m hoping you’re talking about years and years and years ago. But yes, it IS nice to read the lyrics. I forgot about that!

      • Anonymous

        Ha..not years ago! Remember they became relevant again in 2008 and all us women that were just kids could finally spend our money, not our parents money. And they (NKOTB) have cashed in!

  • http://www.newmusicmichael.com/ Michael Senchuk

    LOL three thumbs up, Fadra. A perfect mix of your style, with some humor, with some honest epiphanies about Mat’s music. I was a little surprised he was listed as ‘religious’ as well, but what are you gonna do.

    Now do I have to talk about feelings on MY blog? Good god nobody wants to see that!

    • Anonymous

      Nah. Nobody wants to read about your feelings :)

      I always wonder what is behind these reviews. Do they want awareness, traffic, or really honest feedback? I always go with honest. I may sugarcoat it but I’m honest.

      The thing about music is it is SUCH a personal choice so even if I highly recommended something, someone may not like it. But you knew that.

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