I have always been fascinated by the performance ethic of Mathew Pope. When I first met him, he wanted to be a firefighter. By the time I got to know him, he began to realize that he true calling was by being a country musician. The two of us really got to know each other very well, performed in a quartet with one another, and I began to realize that he is a genuine, natural talent. He sounds like a young Johnny Cash, looks like a young Roy Orbison, strums like a young Brian Setzer, but is ultimately his own star. I wrote about his first album, Sunshine In The Horizon, when it was released back in October 2009. He moved away soon thereafter, but the two of us remained in touch. Now, he's in the works of creating his sophomore album, Travelin' The Highway, and from what I'm hearing, I'm liking the tone.
"Travelin' The Highway," the key song in the album, is a smooth song about... well... traveling the highway. The singer engages in such activities as gambling his money away. That happens to be a typical theme in the field of country, but typical themes happen to make up the infrastructure of the country music world. There will be more songs that will make up the album, but there were two in which I heard when given a bit of a screening for this new album. One of which is "Tryin' To Love A Woman" and the other is "Foolish Heart." Like each of his songs, they were all written and arranged by the Pope himself. I find this to be such a positive in the music industry. All three of these tracks happen to have a smooth and slow tone, not like the signature song in his first album.
Mat Pope has shown major improvement in his vocal and lyric arrangement in his sophomore album. These songs have a very deep meaning and deliver a very strong message. These songs happen to be typical themes when it comes to country and typical country themes. Not the country themes that have been so overdone and have engaged in arrangement that has been so overdone.
I would definitely look to buy the finished product when it comes out in the near future. The samples have proven to be convincing, thus I'm more than ready to go back for more. The Pope has definitely demonstrated that he could play his hand at the many sub-genres in the country world. Definitely give Mathew Pope's music a chance and enjoy!