While the hipster hype machine often feels like a race to find the newest trend and bleed it to death, the Nashville singer-songwriter scene can sometimes seem like a contest to see who can write the safest, least boundary-pushing pop song. (The first rule of Bluebird Cafe is sigh breathily. The second rule of Bluebird Cafe is sigh breathily.)

While the hipster hype machine often feels like a race to find the newest trend and bleed it to death, the Nashville singer-songwriter scene can sometimes seem like a contest to see who can write the safest, least boundary-pushing pop song. (The first rule of Bluebird Cafe is sigh breathily. The second rule of Bluebird Cafe is sigh breathily.)

Mat Kearney isn't exactly rocking the boat, but his American take on Coldplay's inspirational/aspirational pop is far more satisfying than yet another assembly-line acoustic troubadour.

Leagues opens Kearney's Newport show Tuesday.