I had the ability to listen to Mat's album Sunshine In The Horizon when it came out in 2009 and samples of Travelin' The Highway when it came out last year. His newest project is On The Countryside, with the main song of the album being of the same name. Objectively speaking, this is on its way to being his best CD yet, as his latest single is his best song yet, lyrically and vocally. At the moment, this has been the only song I have been able to listen to, but I can surely analyze it as much as I could to a song.
If you have yet to read my previous pieces about Mat Pope, Mat writes all of his music. He performs covers at select gigs, but his albums are exclusively his original material. This album is no different. "On The Countryside," his main song on the album, is a song that is about dreaming about being back on the countryside, the narrator's home and where his wife and children live. This is a common theme when it comes to country music, hence the reason why it fits the genre. A hip hop singer wouldn't be singing about his Texas ranch, nor would a country singer be singing about the streets of New York, thus all is well.
"On The Countryside" gives the kind of feel that John Denver did with "Country Roads, Take Me Home" did during his genre. The only difference is that Denver was singing about West Virginia. He has also referred to Colorado as his home in "Rocky Mountain High." What Mat Pope did with this song was capture the longing of being on the countryside and used powerful lyrics to put you in his place as to longing for the open land, and the empty environment.
If the music from this album continues to have the lyrics and instrumental arrangement that the select song did, this will be Mat's hottest album yet. It will show that Mat has grown through the years as a country artist and is chasing his dream even more toward recognition and being among the elite. There is an opportunity for artists like Mat to make a mark and bring out the throwback that country music has to offer. If Mat Pope remains Mat Pope and writes the music that Mat Pope is good at performing, then Mat Pope will be magnificent!
I definitely look forward to listening to what the rest of the album has to offer. If there isn't many skippers, like on plenty of the albums I purchase in stores, this will be something I will strongly recommend.