Album review: Mateo

It’s undoubtedly a nerve-racking experience when an artist introduces new music to the world. For new singer/songwriter Mateo, who hails from Los Angeles, the recent listening party at Premier Studios in New York City for his new mixtape, “Love & Stadiums,” was a knot-in-the-stomach-inducing event. “I’m kind of nervous,” he said as he greeted the dozen or so music journalists there to get an exclusive listen of the mixtape. Of course, TRACE Urban was in the building to get the scoop on this new fresh-faced talent.

“Love & Stadiums” is Mateo’s first effort on Krucial Noise Records, a new label headed by Alicia Keys’ longtime collaborator, Kerry “Krucial” Brothers. It’s full of big drums, big bass and over-the-top production, because Mateo wanted to emulate the sound of rock bands like Coldplay. The combination of the big stadium sound and Mateo’s smooth vocals is killer.

Standout tracks include the sober “Don’t Shoot Me Down,” Mateo’s take on the Lil’ Wayne track, featuring Goapele and “Get To Know Me,” an original song from the singer that starts with an elegant piano accompaniment and builds to full scale production, achieving the stadium sound he was seeking.

“Love & Stadiums” is a solid effort from the R&B newbie thanks to its strong production and Mateo’s golden voice. It turns out that he had nothing at all to be nervous about.

Check out the video for “Don’t Shoot Me Down.”

By Brooks Newkirk

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