What the CL Music Team is jamming this fine Monday morning to kick off the work week. To check out previous entries, click here.
Ray - Mat Kearney, Young Love (2011)
Every now and then, good pop records grab a hold of me and won't let go. The new one from Oregon-born singer-songwriter Mat Kearney — Young Love — is a perfect example of that. "Hey Mama" is a lukewarm opening to the 10-track effort, but instantly memorable melodies and emotion-stirring chord changes are on full blast by the time the album's second track — "Ships In the Night" — arrives with its chorus-first goodness. Every cut seems like an anthem (try to not sing along to "Chasing The Light"), and there are even a couple of slow burners sprinkled in this perfectly sequenced tracklist. "Sooner or Later" sounds like Coldplay reincarnated without the English pretentiousness and "Rochester" is the introspective album closer that anyone who has ever written a song dreams of putting to tape. Young Love is addicting for each one its 2,367 seconds and I’m not sure I can work this one out of my system anytime soon.
Scott - Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room, Hurricane Season (2011)
Alkaline trio bassist and sometimes-singer Andriano's voice has always been the most soulful thing about the Chicago-bred punk trio; here, that smooth tenor - a unique balance between anguished melancholy and crooner smoothness - is laid against a mellower and often acoustic-driven sonic backdrop. It's pretty much what longtime Andriano fans would expect from a solo record, catchy, heartfelt and more eclectic than his A3 contributions. It's also very, very good. (Drops tomorrow via Asianman Records)
Taylor - Zee Avi, ghostbird (2011)
Another set of amiable, hammock-swinging ukulele tunes from Jack Johnson's Malaysian protege. Many songs are lyrically less than optimistic, but the melodies are so finger snappy that the album bops by with nary a depressing moment. A very enjoyable sophomore effort. Check out the video for "The Book Of Morris Johnson" after the jump. The album drops Aug. 23 via Brushfire Records.