In my house, right now, is an embarrassingly large number of dusty music CDs that I have purchased over the years based on liking one or two songs on the albums, but not really liking the rest of the playlist. They were accrued before I discovered the Cecil County Public Library's collection; I now enjoy listening to a wide variety of music styles without being disappointed or hurting my wallet.
One of my recent library discoveries is Mat Kearney's "Young Love". Although I'd never heard of this American singer/songwriter until a few weeks ago, his newest release is actually his third album and I loved it from beginning to end. While classified as pop, the songs offer a little bit of everything with reggae styling, alternative rock edginess and country music flair thrown in. The opening notes of the happy-go-lucky "Hey Mama" will have you toe-tapping immediately, whereas the lyrical "Learning to Love Again" is just rainy day cool.
What I liked most about this album is that the music is genuine and clean; there are no over-dubbed electronics competing with the lyrics. You can hear the instruments equally as well as Kearney's edgy voice, like a really great live performance in a small venue. The fact that Kearney also composes his own music ratchets up the believability of his songs in my book.
I have since learned that Kearney has lent his talents to television and movie soundtracks, as well. Fans of 30 Rock, The Unit, Without A Trace, Laguna Beach, The Hills, Bones, Friday Night Lights, Scrubs, The Closer, NCIS, Grey's Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries have probably enjoyed his music without realizing it. His song "Runaway" is featured on the Soul Surfer movie soundtrack.
All in all, "Young Love" is a winner for all ages. Followers of the Dave Matthews Band, The Fray or John Mayer should especially include it on their must-listen list but it has broad appeal for a variety of audiences.
Recommended by Priscilla Garvin