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City of Black & White

Mat KearneyAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Price: $10.08 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Mat Kearney tells all!


Mat Kearney didn't set out to write just another collection of songs for Young Love, his third full-length album and first for Universal Republic Records.

Instead, he penned a pastiche of honest, heartfelt, and hypnotic stories that'll make you move your feet and put a smile on your face. Kearney gives a piece of himself on every tune, while building timeless tales for listeners ... Read more in Amazon's Mat Kearney Store

Visit Amazon's Mat Kearney Store
for 6 albums, photos, videos, discussions, and more.

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City of Black & White + Young Love + Nothing Left To Lose
Price for all three: $29.63

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,869 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. All I Have
2. Fire and Rain
3. Closer To Love
4. Here We Go
5. Lifeline
6. New York To California
7. Runaway Car
8. Never Be Ready
9. Annie
10. Straight Away
11. On And On
12. City Of Black & White

Editorial Reviews

2009 release from the American singer/songwriter, the follow-up to his hit album Nothing Left to Lose. City Of Black & White is an album informed by the traveling, performing and adventuring the Oregon-born, Nashville-based singer did while supporting that breakthrough album. An open-hearted album of self-discovery, City of Black & White is a chronicle of the people he met and missed during that journey. Musically, it's an upping of the ante, laced with hooks and rhythms that are meant to sneak up on you quietly and quickly, en route to winning your love.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars City Of Black & White Solid From Start To Finish May 19, 2009
Format:Audio CD
While there are a lot of similarities AND differences between Mat Kearney's City Of Black & White and his 2006 hit album Nothing Left To Lose, Mat has managed to produce a record that is sure to please a good majority of fans even though there really isn't anything ground-breaking or 'shockingly' cutting-edge here. Kearney ditched the 'rapping' that was interspersed throughout many of the songs on NLTL and polishes up the rough-around-the-edges nature of that album in favor of straightforward, mainly mid-tempo, radio-ready tunes as well as plenty of ballads or slower songs on the back half of the line-up.

He lets his captivating voice do the 'talking' this time around, keeping a similar slower-phrased singing style from that previous effort, and showcasing even more of his melodic, mellow, intimate nature. However, you won't find the 'extremes' of NLTL on City Of Black & "Girl America"-type songs, and nothing quite as powerfully passionate as "What's A Boy To Do", "All I Need", or "Won't Back Down".

As soon as the first song ("All I Have") starts playing, you'll hear familiar melodies that will remind you of certain tracks from NLTL, and yet these songs seem to have great structure overall and solid backup instrumentation...a tighter, polished sound that's likely to yield several hits, including the first single, "Closer To Love". That song as well as "Fire And Rain" and "Lifeline", for example, have enough 'energy' to them to hit the Adult Contemporary rock crowd right between the ears...these songs are so strong from top to bottom its difficult for me to pick favorites. You still get passionate balladry with songs like the piano-based "New York To California" and the acoustic-guitar based "On And On", and I can't name one 'bad' song on the album. Overall, a very pleasing effort from Mat.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:MP3 Music
Rewind to Christian Radio circa 2004 and you'd hear the Oregon boys, which consisted of Shawn McDonald, Paul Wright, and Mat Kearney, all of which hit the radio at the same time, all had strong debuts, and all happened to hail from Oregon. Kearney was probably the most original of the bunch, providing a great mix of acoustic hip-hop, mixed with pop and rock. He soon got noticed and he released an album which was noticeably poppier, but contained some of his old track. Some of the new stuff wasn't that great, but Grey's Anatomy loved it, and he took off. Some three years later, five if you're counting his last fully-original album, and Mat is back to show us what he's got. The result is Coldplay + The Fray.

Highlights Include:
All I Have
Closer To Love
Here We go
Runaway Car
Straight Away

The album is a solid listen, especially on the first half of the album, combining the usual singer-songwriter pop, mixed with more atmospheric elements, giving the album a complete sound. And while it's different stylistically from his debut, it's still a great sound. The only problem is it starts faltering towards the back-half. "New York to California" is pretty cheesy with lyrics like, "I'd build a bridge through the fire. For you I'd crawl from New York to California." Wow, that's pretty standard 80s-type cheese there. In fact, the album has a 80s pop feel to it, which I find kind of strange.

Overall, "City of Black & White" is pretty black and white in terms of originality, but Mat does a great job with the music and lyrics. The first half is excellent, and some of the songs on the back-half fall off the wagon. If anything, this album will increase Kearney's profile in the music world, which is evident when I see signs for Mat Kearney playing with Keane at Radio City Music Hall. So I'd say Kearney's done pretty well for himself, and deservedly so.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mat Kearney [City of Black & White] May 20, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Following the success of his major label debut, "Nothing Left To Lose", Mat Kearney has returned with an evolved sound and a world of new experiences. Three years later, and thanks in large part to VH1--which kept "Nothing Left to Lose" in rotation for 45 consecutive weeks, an open-hearted album of self-discovery, "City of Black & White" is a chronicle of the people he met and missed during that journey.

In fact, the first song "All I Want" begins with the lyrics "Here we go at it three years later, Will you help me to dream it all up again". I really enjoyed "Nothing Left To Lose" and the musical diversity and catchy lyrical style. I would describe Mat's style as a great mix of Jack Johnson, The Fray, Matthew West and Brandon Heath, which are among my favorite artists. "All I Want" is one of the catchy standout songs on the album and is a great way to start off the album. "Fire And Rain" is another nice upbeat song. Hit single "Closer To Love" is my favorite overall song on the album. Overall, it reminded me of Brandon Heath's award-winning "Give Me Your Eyes" musically. The album lacks strong spiritual messages and reminds me more of a Jack Johnson album relative to the number of songs about relationships such as "Here We Go" and "New York To California" which are nice songs and also both remind me of "London" by Brandon Heath.

Unlike Matthew West and Mat's last album, I was disappointed that this album is a tad mellow overall and lacks any urban style musically or lyrically. The album is a nice listen and includes several memorable songs including "Annie" and the closing song "City Of Black & White".

If you liked "Wait And See" by Brandon Heath and "Something To Say" by Matthew West, you'll like the musical style of this album, but lyrically it is much more like "The Fray" by The Fray and "Sleeping Through The Static" by Jack Johnson.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just beautiful!
Published 22 days ago by ALICIA MAY WIDZINSKI
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Album! Not one bad song!
Published 1 month ago by caragon6
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Lee A. Reese
5.0 out of 5 stars The best !!!
One of the best CDs ever !!!
Published 2 months ago by Steve Cromack
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love Mat Kearney. Thank you for getting me his CD so quickly.
Published 2 months ago by Gramela
5.0 out of 5 stars Just good music
Melodic, interesting lyrics and a good voice equals a disk to listen to over and over again. I love Mat Kearney and lots of reasons why on this disk.
Published 6 months ago by Julie D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing cd
This has quickly become one of my all-time favorite CDs. I now own everything he has ever released but this is still my favorite.
Published 6 months ago by Kelly Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars F'ing awesome!
I can listen to the whole CD and the whole CD is awesome! There should be an Indie-Folk radio station in the Boston area.
Published 7 months ago by Daniel V. Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
One of my favorite CDs of Mat Kearney's music. I listen to it a lot! Gorgeous vocals, great lyrics and some great music.
Published 15 months ago by Chaucer rules
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of songs by a talented artist.
This album is full of emotive songs from the heart sung by an exceptionally talented musician. The songs are delivered in a natural style almost without conscious thought.
Published 16 months ago by Darryl Ross Newsome
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