Mateo’s ‘Love and Stadiums II’ is in all areas a great work of art. It has all the elements of a solid album. My only qualm is the similarities in sound, arrangement, and style as ‘Get To Know Me.’ I appreciate his work and personally wanted to see him express more of his broad array of talent. Perhaps this was done to give his fans more of what they enjoy, or to preserve his sound for those who have yet to enjoy his artistry. This is not to say that the album isn’t good, on the contrary, it is well composed and well executed. Anticipation, this time around, got the better of me. With that said, lets dive into it.
Say It’s So is a cool, laid-back unilateral convo with that special someone expressing the hopes that everyone experiences in a relationship (or arrangement) with their significant other. It marks Mateo’s signature style both in harmony and lyrics. Alicia Keys’ soulful voice adds to the overall intent of the number.
Love is a Gun is the next point-on-deck in this one-way conversation. Mateo displays his sensitive side with the transparent statement, “I’m not bullet proof.” His falsetto highlights the emotion embodied in the record. With the heavy bass and snare to sync in and out with this emotion, the effect is eerily on point with the feelings experienced in any relationship.
Don’t Shoot Me Down is an appropriate title to follow up. Ab Liva starts off with a deep and heartfelt lyrical statement followed by Mateo. We are even blessed to have Goapele not only singing the chorus interchangeably with Mateo, but she delivers a fast-paced yet melodic verse in this rhythmic record. They are flying, please don’t shoot them down.
Jumping around on the album (as always, to not give it all away), In Your Arms is my favorite track and, in my opinion, an expression of the evolving and progressive style of the artist. We begin with a soft but poignant piano melody. Mateo borrows from Cutting Crew to aid in his message to his significant other. You have to appreciate the use of imagery and how Mateo animates his emotion through potent lyrics.
If you’re tired of the commercial, generic music that pervades the airwaves these days, give a listen to Mateo’s Love and Stadiums!