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Some Mad Hope by Matt Nathanson

Some Mad Hope by Matt Nathanson

Album Review

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…

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