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Nothing Left to Lose [Bonus Track]
     

Nothing Left to Lose [Bonus Track]

4.6 5
by Mat Kearney
 

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Although he hails from Nashville, this singer-songwriter could easily be voted 2006's Least Likely to Don a Cowboy Hat. Instead of twang, Kearney conjures up a mélange of Coldplay-styled sensitive-guy rock and a low-slung strain of rap-folk that's not all that far removed from G. Love's forays into that little-explored realm. When he's in the

Overview

Although he hails from Nashville, this singer-songwriter could easily be voted 2006's Least Likely to Don a Cowboy Hat. Instead of twang, Kearney conjures up a mélange of Coldplay-styled sensitive-guy rock and a low-slung strain of rap-folk that's not all that far removed from G. Love's forays into that little-explored realm. When he's in the former mode, as on the arcing ballad "All I Need," Kearney turns relatively minimalist, leaning on a simple piano line for support but carrying the tune with his supple, affable voice. When he lets his funkier side shine -- most notably on the groove-based "Undeniable" and "Bullet" (far and away the disc's most aggressive number) -- he gussies things up a little more, but not at the expense of losing the organic feel he so clearly values. Nothing Left to Lose, which contains new performances of a handful of tracks from Kearney's 2004 album, Bullet, marks his first major mainstream inroad, but he has gotten some prior notice on the Christian scene. That spirituality -- while certainly evident on songs like the title track and the introspective "Wait" -- provides a subtle undercurrent in his songs, rather than an obtrusive undertow. In other words, Kearney (like, say, T-Bone Burnett or even Bono) is more interested in imparting uplift than conversion. More to the point, he's as interested in delivering a good tune as a good message -- which makes Nothing Left to Lose an unqualified winner.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
On his 2006 major-label debut, Nothing Left to Lose, singer/songwriter Mat Kearney comes across as a mix of John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and U2. Kearney has the loose-limbed, acoustic feel of Mayer's earliest work, but he has a hazy hip-hop underpinning to a lot of his songs that recalls Mraz -- plus, like Mr. A-Z himself, he will easily slip between crooned choruses and rapped verses. Then, he shares the sincerity, not to mention the vague Christian undercurrents, of early U2, and he certainly builds on their echoey guitars and arty soundscapes throughout Nothing Left to Lose, which means that he can also occasionally sound like Coldplay here, particularly on the relaxed epic "Crashing Down" and the piano-driven anthemic power ballad "In the Middle." It's a modern sound, pitched halfway between adult alternative pop and collegiate jam bands, and since Kearney is an ingratiatingly sincere guy, it's often appealing on a pure sonic level, even if the stylistic mash-ups occasionally sound awkward. In specific, the raps often sound shoehorned into the arrangements, sticking out like sore thumbs even when the hip-hop beats themselves go down easy -- but to his credit, Kearney never sounds as smarmy or self-satisfied as Mraz. There is never a moment on this album where he doesn't sound earnest and serious, a trait that would be an Achilles' heel for most singer/songwriters, but there's an inherent modesty to Kearney that keeps him from sounding lugubrious and self-absorbed. Usually, he simply sounds likeable, thanks to his guy-next-door voice and clean, evocative production. So, he has the sound down on Nothing Left to Lose, but the songs are a little uneven, partially due to the preponderance of awkward rap-rock cuts that sound clunky next to his ballads and folky pop, partially due to the fact that his on-record persona is so modest that his songs sound modest too. That said, his modesty is appealing, and so is Nothing Left to Lose, which expands on the strengths his 2004 Inpop debut -- quite literally, since six of the 13 songs here are remixed versions of tracks from that effort -- to position Mat Kearney as a promising AAA singer/songwriter, particularly for those who find recent John Mayer too muscular and recent Coldplay too cold and arty. [Sony's 2007 edition included the bonus track "Breathe in Breathe Out."]

Product Details

Release Date:
10/09/2007
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0886971677522
catalogNumber:
716775

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mat Kearney   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Vibes
Judson Spence   Bass,Bass Guitar
Jerry McPherson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Lynn Nichols   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
David May   Electric Guitar
Lindsay Jamieson   Drums
Matt Butler   Cello
Andy Selby   Strings
Will Sayles   Percussion,Drums
Butterfly Boucher   Drums
Tony Lucido   Bass,Bass Guitar
Paul Moak   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Piano,Accordion,Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Robert "Aurel M" Marvin   Bass,Piano,Various,Vibes,Toy Piano
Greg Hagan   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Claire Indie   Cello
Jeremy Lutito   Percussion,Drums
Robert Marvyn   Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Joe Baldridge   Bass Engineer,Drum Engineering
Andy Selby   Engineer,String Arrangements
Paul Moak   Producer,Engineer,Bass Engineer,Drum Engineering
Robert "Aurel M" Marvin   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production,Instrumentation,Bass Engineer,Drum Engineering
Dan Mandell   Art Direction
Mat Kearney   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Steve Winiarski   Engineer
Daniel "D Up" Allen   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Nothing Left to Lose 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mat Kearney has come out of the box as a winner. He blew me away years ago onstage at Creation festival with a one-song prelude to a headline act... this beautiful album is a brdige between street-wise senitments and the best of pop. While the comparisons to Chris Martin of Coldplay ring true, this album exceeds any Coldplay effort with a worldview that hits on the redemptive through the most difficult struggles of life. Buy this now!
musicjunkie24 More than 1 year ago
I've had this CD for a few years now, and I still love the music and listen to it regularly. Mat's voice is awesome, and the songs complement it so well. It's urban and soulful and has an awesome message. I seriously love every song.
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