There's a giddiness to much of Mat Kearney's "Young Love" (Universal Republic) that's infectious. Though we've gotten used to the oh-so-serious singer-songwriter sounding a certain way in recent years, Kearney

busts that convention, adding a touch of island rhythm to the acoustic-

guitar base of "Hey Mama" and "She Got the Honey," a bit of hip-hop in "Chasing the Light" and "Ships in the Night." Then, on "Learning to Love Again," Kearney shows he can still

beat the sad sacks at their own game, too.

Mat Kearney

"Young Love"

GRADE B+

BOTTOM LINE Pushing the boundaries of the singer-songwriter sound

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