Nothing Left To Lose
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Nothing Left To Lose by Mat Kearney
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In an industry dogged too much by cookie-cutter artists, Mat Kearney is a real breath of fresh air. Let's be honest: What music exec would ever suggest that a blending of John Mayer-like subtle pop, Toby Mac-like rap, and Chris Martin-esque vocals could be rolled together for a winning combination? Stylistically, that's what we get with Kearney's outstanding major-label debut Nothing Left to Lose. Nearly half of this album is culled from Kearney's Bullet release (2004), an independent label breakthrough success for the singer-songwriter. These gems include the pedestrian "Undeniable," the pseudo Coldplay ringer "In The Middle," and the my-girl-is-my-country metaphor of "Girl America." Kearney moves away from his hip-hop sensibilities into a more guitar-friendly pop vein on newer tracks "Crashing Down," "Can't Break Her Fall," "Where We Gonna Go From Here," and "Nothing Left To Lose." The starkly moving "All I Need" will grab your attention as Kearney sings of a couple whose efforts to escape their own relationship problems mirror their attempts to flee a natural disaster. One of the most attractive elements throughout is a sound unlike any other in Christian music. While Kearney does little to mask his own faith in the interest of gaining crossover appeal, it's his multi-flavored art that should draw listeners from all angles. Heart-gripping at moments, thought-provoking at others, Nothing Left to Lose is intelligent throughout and one of the top releases of the year thus far. --Michael Lyttle
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I was privileged enough to be on scene in Knoxville, TN around the time he made his beginnings, 'Bullet'. That album is the core of this album and be warned that six of those songs are on this album. Having said that, there isn't a bad song to be had on 'Nothing Left To Lose' and I could similarly gush about his following offerings. Grounded in gospel, Mat brings a crossover with force. His lyrics are intelligent, vulnerable, and relatable.
Kearny manages to intertwine hip-hop, rock, spoken word/rap, and alternative, in a blend that is all his own.
Some may be turned off by his "rap" style and feel that it's used to cover up some of his songwriting or singing weakneses. I think it's done just right and he doesn't get too caught up in it. Right when you think he's been talking awhile he starts up with the melody/harmony and brings you right back into the song. It's a very nice combination.
I purchased 2 other new albums at the same time as this one, but I can't seem to take Mat's out of the player. THAT, for me, is a sign of a strong album top-to-bottom. As most outlets are selling this album cheaper than the "normal" CD, I would highly recommend giving this one a try....you won't be disappointed.
This has to be one of my favorite CDs because of how perfectly he's blended the two genres, and it can even be for those who only favor one of the two. For 8 dollars? You can feel that you're only paying for the songs that are heavy with rap or the ones that have no rapping at all.
A simply magnificent CD and I must recommend it for all.
Fave songs: Nothing Left to Lose, Crashing Down, Girl America, In the Middle (my FAVORITE one of the album), And Wait.
Mat is one of those singers who a lot of people know, but they don't realize it. By that I mean you hear the song and go "oh yeah, I know that...I like that song. I never knew he was the one who sang that." I did that with a lot of these songs. Glad I bought the album...would purchase again.