Some Mad Hope

Some Mad Hope

4.5 14
by Matt Nathanson
     
 
Singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson has been playing the college circuit for quite a few years now, impressing coeds with his energetic live show (which often includes a collection of well-known covers) and heartfelt guitar playing. So those already enamored of Nathanson should have no reason for complaint on his second major-label release -- and sixth overall -- Some

Overview

Singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson has been playing the college circuit for quite a few years now, impressing coeds with his energetic live show (which often includes a collection of well-known covers) and heartfelt guitar playing. So those already enamored of Nathanson should have no reason for complaint on his second major-label release -- and sixth overall -- Some Mad Hope. The same themes he's dealt with on his previous albums -- regret and desire, roughly -- are here, the same sentimental lyrics and sweet descriptions of past loves, presented in major keys and with clean production. It's typical stuff but it's done well, mixed so Nathanson's emotive voice comes through clearly. But for these same reasons, those unfamiliar with the musician's repertoire may be unimpressed by his overall ordinariness. His melodies, his lyrics, and his arrangements are hard to distinguish from all the Howie Days, Jason Mrazs, Mat Kearneys, and Ari Hests out there. While Nathanson occasionally has a good line or two ("September took the tourists and settled in for good/We could hear the trains again/Brooklyn girls in scarves"), his lyrics neglect subtlety and nuance completely, opting instead for the obvious and straightforward. Not that everything needs to be shadowed in gray and distant allusions, but yet another "Come on and drive me wild" or "I want to be somebody else" is boring and unoriginal and gets lost in the immense pile of clichés, limiting the album's reasons to be listened to. There are a few bits that stand out (the stripped-down "Bulletproof Weeks," the interesting emotional semi-detachment of "Gone"), but most of Some Mad Hope is inoffensive and unremarkable -- certainly not bad, but only good enough to satisfy longtime fans and not win any new ones.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/14/2007
Label:
Vanguard Records
UPC:
0015707982726
catalogNumber:
79827
Rank:
41772

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Matt Nathanson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Marshall Altman   Percussion,Background Vocals
John Thomasson   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Jim McGorman   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Aaron Tap   Electric Guitar
Jason McGerr   Percussion,Drums
Jason McKenzie   Percussion,Drums
Michael Chavez   Guitar
Suzie McNeil   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jim Latham   String Arrangements
Marshall Altman   Producer,Engineer
Ryan Williams   Engineer
Karl Egsieker   Engineer
Eric Robinson   Engineer
Doug Tyo   Engineer
Jordan Kurland   Management
Andrew Paynter   Cover Photo
Mike Laza   Engineer
Marcus Samperio   Engineer

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Some Mad Hope 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this CD. I love all the songs. I listen to this one over and over.
KellBell More than 1 year ago
I really like the songs on here!
Guest More than 1 year ago
okay, this is THE best cd EVER. I know someone said you couldn't attract new fans, but she was wrong. I'm a new fan, I had never heard of him, but was just browsing through cd's, and I have to say, this is THE best one that I have had in a long while. BUY THIS, you WON'T be sorry! NEW FANS TOO!!!
SIM More than 1 year ago
since I HAD to click a star I clicked only 1 star....but I have NO idea because this was a GIFT.....it was not for my personal use!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely one of my favorite CDs! Songs are original, great music - great job Matt!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unremarkable? What an inaccurate description of this work. I buy very few CDs because they are just that. However, this CD is so incredibly well done that it's almost criminal to call it unremarkable. Matt's voice and the lyrics are so clear and beautiful that it's hard not to react. This CD is truly lovely and touching. You will not regret the purchase. If you are looking for an artist who hides his/her message behind large/ambiguous words, Matt Nathanson is not for you. If you are interested in being moved by an artist's honesty, clarity, and depth you won't go wrong purchasing this one! Well done, Matt. Signed, New Fan (in every sense of the word).
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