Nothing left to lose by getting this album.
Posted May 21, 2009
What could alienate people from getting Nothing Left to Lose is the fact that Mat Kearny’s debut album Bullet contains six of the thirteen songs on Kearny’s latest. That could discourage fans who were blown away by “undeniable” and “train wreak” and the other stellar adult contemporary tracks on Bullet, but those who do choose to pick up the album will not be disappointed with the add-ons mixed with his first albums best..
Mat Kearney’s genre would be called contemporary with some rap, but terrific would be another way to describe his music. The hit single “undeniable” has more of the rap beat to it but was ear friendly enough to be a hit with superb music. The single “Bullet” is a rap song all the way but the chorus and pre-chorus are both accessible and the beat moves along quickly enough that one would think Kearny was born to rap. The Kearnys emotional voice adds a tremendous boost to his already sound songs, particularly on the title track which is phenomenal.
Those songs which did not get as much exposure are non the less fantastic. The soul riveting “renaissance” is beautifully crafted from every stage of the song and the adult contemporary, emotional “in the middle” which is a terrific pace to the song especially the refrain. The emotion and maturity of “can’t break her fall” is just wonderful, as every facet of the music is crisp. “Girl America” is a more oddball tune with it’s guitar driven tune which beat is similar to a rap tune though the bridge is incredibly strong.
The single “crashing down” doesn’t have the flow that other songs do but the emotion and the solid music keep it good. similar to “crashing down” is “wait” where Kearny employs a more solemn tune that is more melancholy than usual. The extremely potent ballad “all I need” is almost entirely piano driven but the sentiment and intensity in the song, chiefly the bridge is spectacular. Lesser ballads like “Won't Back Down” and “what’s a boy to do” are good but get shadowed by better music.
The lyrics are a piece or work as it shifts from Kearny’s seemly reluctance to show his faith to the point where it slaps you in the face. The mature “girl America” should not be taken lightly but is well crafted song that eventually points to the solution in very clear language (‘And I can see we've strayed so far/A king born under that morning star/As a crown of thorns was placed to erase/And his palms and sides were pierced with spears/He hung in love just to draw you near’). The shady “can’t break her fall” is up for interpretation and will probably cause some head scratching; one thing for sure about the song is that it’s clear the singer wants to help the girl who is in trouble.
After those two songs it’s clear sailing from the blatantly obvious rap worship song “undeniable” (‘It's undeniable how brilliant you are/In an unreliable world you shine like a star’) to the hopeful “won’t back down”. Sacrifice is stressed on “bullet” is an extreme degree (‘I would take a bullet for you/I would lose it all, I'd take my fall/To show you it's for real’) while lessons on pressing forward appear on “in the middle” and “nothing left to lose”. Don’t be surprised if you hear “all I need” at a wedding some day.
Some might be suspect because of “Can't Break Her Fall” and some of Mat Kearny mainstream lyrics but in reality he sings not about moral things but biblical themes. That and the before mentioned problem is the only real reason that fans should not get a incredible group of songs called Nothing Left to Lose.
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