At only eighteen years of age Sam Mooney is already an accomplished musician who won the Performing Songwriter Competition with his original "The Love You Never Knew," which is currently receiving terrestrial radio play and also won the 2013 Mid-South Talent Competition in Memphis, Tennessee. His most recent accomplishment is the release of a six-song EP entitled Somewhere in Between. Mooney makes certifiable radio ready pop music that will appeal to a large demographic. All of the music on this EP is accessible and contains aesthetics you might think of when talking about a Billboard top 40 hit. That being said, Mooney is a versatile musician who likes to flirt with different genres such as blues, funk and jazz while undeniably being grounded in pop.
The EP kicks off with the most “single” worthy track on the EP entitled “The Love You Never Knew.” It’s obvious what Mooney is going for on this track. He wants a melody that will get stuck in your head and he achieves it. Out of the six tracks this one felt the most cookie cutter as it sticks to a tried and true formula that was almost too catchy.
On the second track “Cupid’s Got Me Good” Mooney implements bass, electric guitar, horns, drums and a soulful vocal performance. The song is slick and I enjoyed the subtle upbeat funky vibe. It leans more towards Maroon 5 than Al Green but is an enjoyable tune nonetheless.
“Heartbreaker” is another solid effort by Mooney. He reverts to subtle yet warm, funky vibe that is easy on the ears. Mooney brings his A game when it comes to the vocals. I thought his delivery had a good combination of soul, enthusiasm and energy
Arguably the highlight was the blues inspired “If Love is a Game.” The song revolves around a piano and organ that provide the canvas for Mooney to sing upon. Perhaps the most engaging part was the a cappella breakdown. Mooney closes with a sunny, forward moving song entitled “Somewhere in Between.”
Mooney is a talented, young artist who has a lot of potential. I think some of the music feels a bit safe but Mooney might be playing his cards right depending on what demographic he wants to attract. People who have been waiting for the new Aphex Twin album will probably pass on this but fans of Maroon 5 and even classic artists like Stevie Wonder and Van Morrison should enjoy it.
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