Some Mad Hope

Some Mad Hope

If Matt Nathanson were older and just a little more Irish, “Car Crash” could be mistaken for a lost U2 song. Of course he doesn’t sound like Bono on the rest of Some Mad Hope. “Come On Get Higher” is just as hitworthy, but with its romantic mid-tempo vibe, amorously fawning lyrics, and Nathanson’s beautifully textured voice that breaks in all the right spots — this song harks back to his coffeehouse roots. Nathanson’s sixth studio album isn’t a huge departure from his prior works, but there is definitely more thought put into the arrangements and lyrics of songs like the danceable “To the Beat Of Our Noisy Hearts” with its breathy verses before the driving choruses unfold to expose a hailstorm of hooks. The stripped down, melancholic elegance of “Bulletproof Weeks” shows real maturity in songwriting, especially in the lyrics, which search for a more poetic and sublime choice of words making for something that vaguely recalls Ryan Adams’ better moments. His true voice comes out in “Falling Apart,” a moving power ballad sung in a comfortable key that doesn’t sound like anyone but Matt Nathanson.

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