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Nothing Left to Lose

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
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 --...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/2006
  • Label: Sony Mod - Afw Line
  • UPC: 827969417720
  • Catalog Number: 94177
  • Sales rank: 17,404

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Undeniable (4:26)
  2. 2 Nothing Left to Lose (4:24)
  3. 3 Crashing Down (4:14)
  4. 4 Girl America (4:03)
  5. 5 In the Middle (4:16)
  6. 6 Can't Break Her Fall (3:52)
  7. 7 What's a Boy to Do (4:02)
  8. 8 Wait (4:38)
  9. 9 Bullet (4:23)
  10. 10 All I Need (4:27)
  11. 11 Renaissance (4:49)
  12. 12 Where We Gonna Go from Here (4:06)
  13. 13 Won't Back Down (5:10)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mat Kearney Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Judson Spence Bass
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
Chris Stevens Hammond Organ
Will Sayles Percussion, Drums
Tony Lucido Bass
Paul Moak Banjo, Piano, Accordion, Electric Guitar, Hammond Organ, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer
Robert "Aurel M" Marvin Bass, Piano, Vibes, Toy Piano
Greg Hagan Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Claire Indie Cello
Jeremy Lutito Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
Joe Baldridge Bass Engineer, Drum Engineering
Greg Calbi Mastering
William Paden Hensley Engineer, Digital Editing
Andy Selby Engineer, String Arrangements
Paul Moak Engineer, Bass Engineer, Drum Engineering
Robert "Aurel M" Marvin Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer, Instrumentation, Bass Engineer, Drum Engineering
Dan Mandell Art Direction
Keith Gary Engineer, Digital Editing
Mat Kearney Composer, Producer, Contributor
Steve Winiarski Engineer
Daniel "D Up" Allen Engineer
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