Something you'll come to realize in country music is that if the artist isn't writing themselves, they're usually working with a specific set of writers. These guys and gal wrote on eight of the eleven tracks, and everything else was either written with or by the Henningsens. This is a Nashville group for sure, take it from someone who remembers every day there quite fondly. :)
Here's the full listen link to follow if you want to hear the album. As hesitant as I am on this band ("If I Die Young" turns me off every time), I'm so excited to hear some country again!
"You Lie" is the lead track, and is, to me, the most memorable single from this band so far. It's a good ol' country rhythm and girl getting to bitch a little about a guy who's trash. I love country songs like this honestly (Miranda Lambert, you have my heart lady). It's really a classic sounding country song, complete with the right combination of instruments and twang to the voices, something we haven't gotten a good fill of in country in a while. I don't love the song continuously, but it's catchy and worthy of the album completely.
I don't know why, but I sort of love this video. The whole look is fantastic, minus her white dress. Her pissed off kind of works well. Her brothers are almost like secret agents gathering the info to convince her. The background are a pretty cool effect. I don't know, I just like these little elements. I don't get the food table thing, but okay.
"Hip To My Heart" was also a single, though I didn't know that right off the title. I vaguely remember it as we get towards the chorus, but not much of it. It's got a cool rock feel to it, showing that hipster side of Nashville at its finest. There's really a nice combo of hippie and rocker to the song, with the over-arching country twang to it all. This one would go over well at the Roo. :) <-- this albums got me doing a lot of that, even if I'm not loving every bit of it.
Why "If I Die Young" became the song to really launch them is beyond me. It is, by far, the most depressing thing I've ever heard. Okay, I get the beauty in the intricate lyrics of a girl being content with her life, but I can't help but only hear the story of a sad, early death. I appreciate her contentedness with life overall, but come on. There is more child, I promise. Maybe I'm speaking from someone overcoming things she's thinking about, but that's the beauty in understanding songs can mean different things to different people. This is floods back the old feelings and sadness, and I, quite frankly, can't take it, no matter how gorgeous the melodies are.
Why are they so damn happy when they're walking with the boat? AH more frustration...
We get a little more adorable with "All Your Life." There's a sweet steel guitar and slide going on right from the start. It's a pretty cute song about just trying to get him to get a clue. Gentlemen, she's saying everything you just don't realize you want to hear. There is such a thing as being a hopeless romantic, and this one's it for a girl. In other words, this is my favorite so far. "I don't want the whole world, the sun the moon and all their light. I just wanna be the only girl you love all your life." So, all your life is asking a little much, but how about just trying for a bit? Bah, I'm getting off on a tangent in my own head. Apologies y'all.
And we've now exited the realm of the singles from the album. Here we go with the additional tracks. First up is "Miss You Being Gone." There some really cool old rock 'n' roll influence going on here at the beginning, and if Kimberly's voice were about one octave lower I might love it. It's a good moving song and seems like it'd make for a great live number, so let's see if that holds true.
She's got a point at the start - Friday Night Country Music Lovers are a fun bunch to party with. Damn I miss the south. By the way, this song sounds GREAT as a live number! So much energy and fun!
I think I get why i was so turned off of this band for so long. There's not a ton of range in Kimberly's leading vocals, and it's evident in "Double Heart." Don't get me wrong - the use of fiddle and the rhythms in the vocals are all pretty great. She just gets a little difficult to listen to when you feel like nothings really changing. There's no dynamics change to indicate a different feeling in the song meaning as she goes between tracks.
I'm hopeful for a slight slowdown in "Postcards From Paris." I think vocally, the best song so far as been "If I Die Young," and that Kim does better on the slower numbers. No such big luck hit here. But the comparisons made in this are really great and definitely country. Like I said, you hear a lot of people complain we haven't had a real country-sounding group in a really long time, but I think this band has hit big because they help those nostalgic folks that need it, as well as show young folks it's possible to not be Taylor Swift and still make it in country.
Sorry, no video for that last one. But we have one from Oceanway for "Independence!" Bonus points if you know why that studio's so awesome. It's most definitely a driving song and good for being on the move. I have to hand to them lyrically - they hit the right words in great ways. This one's all on leaving, and they have some cool ways of saying it. Something abou their instruments and the musicality of the songs takes things to good places. Interestingly, she's actually leaving the town of Independence though, all while declaring it.
I guess the title of a song "Lasso" is right for a country album. This one slows things down a bit, giving us a nice pretty way out of the album. Love the lyric "loving you was like throwing a lasso 'round a tornado." It's so exciting and sad all at the same time. "I've always been afraid of flying, but you can't blame a girl for trying." It's a love song, but a lost love too, though she at least can admit she tried. And it does make a great fair song - just watch and see.
- "Hip To My Heart"
- "All Your Life"
- "Walk Me Down the Middle"
Overall, a solidly country album. Admit it, everything musically and even lyrically screams that this is a country record meant to take us all back to a twag-ier time when the stereotype of the genre was true. It is a nice young ride though, as we see heartbreak and sweet innocent love take bloom and whither. Overall, a commendable job by the newcomers to the country scene and music industry.