On August 2nd, singer-songwriter Mat Kearney brought us his fourth record, Young Love. Filled with strong pop anthems, Kearney has a unique style that's highly likable, fun to listen to, and pretty darn catchy.
The record starts with "Hey Mama," which is also the song's first single. You're instantly drawn in by the rhythmic hand claps, the fetchy chorus, and the overall liveliness of the song. The second track, "Ships in the Night" is equally catchy - featuring some of the spoken word rap style that Kearney got his start with.
As the record progresses, we are given a lot of honestly from Kearney. Well, maybe it's honesty, or maybe it's great storytelling - but aren't most great songs based on truth or storytelling or a bit of both? In "Rochester" Kearney sings about his father:
Daddy'd come home fired up
Looking for some sort of release
He beat the hell out of Timmy
Timmy beat the hell out of me
Like I said, Kearney's honesty and ability to connect with the listener on a very human level is pretty respectable. We see more of it in "Seventeen" - a virtual coming of age story that may or may not be the story of Mat Kearney:
I was in the parking lot scared as hell
Sending sixteen dollars down a wishing well
Two bottles of wine, those red and blue lights
Took a trip down town for the very first time
Watching my own life flash before my eyes
Like I was seventeen
And the record isn't without a lot of fun. Like "Hey Mama," "She Got the Honey" is a fun flirty song that's perfect for a summer day.
Bottom Line: If you're looking for a great pop record from a talented songwriter, buy Young Love.