Week of 2/2/2024
You Did It Too – Dylan Marlowe Written By Creed Miller
With his first release since “Boys Back Home,” Dylan Marlowe gets in his feels on “You Did It Too.” The track comes in response to what Dylan viewed as a harsh review of his previous single. Instrumentally, this song is actually quite good. Produced by Joe Fox, the acoustic stylings give the song a down-tempo, neo-traditional country sound. The subtle production sets a good tone and isn’t as overbearing as its predecessor. However, vocally and lyrically, this single is far from perfect. Written by Marlowe, Fox, and Dallas Davidson, the lyrics rattle off a slew of common experiences of a small-town kid; the way Marlowe tells it, if you’re not from one, then you just can’t understand it. The problem is, riding in a truck or kissing a girl on a front porch just aren’t regionally exclusive experiences; these are things that people have done all over the country, defeating the major purpose of the song. Marlowe’s vocals are another low point. His petulant tone sounds especially whiny in the chorus and overwhelms the production, which is one of the song’s best traits. While there are some positives, Dylan Marlowe was better off leaving this single in his notes app.
Wallflower – Silverada (formerly Mike and the Moonpies) – Written By Adam Delahoussaye
With 17 years of recording and performing under their belt, it was hard to imagine that Silverada (formerly Mike and the Moonpies) would ever veer from the trail of neo-barroom blues tunes that they’ve been pioneering for almost two decades. The first single under their new moniker proves that while it might be easy to change a name, a band’s musical attitude is much more static. “Wallflower” feels like engines revving in anticipation of a race. The skeletal structure of fine-tuned classic country production and po-dunk, honky-tonk wit in Michael Harmeier’s prose is still there, though the trappings around “Wallflower” are a little dirtier and more edgy than any of their previous releases. New name, no problem.
Heartbreaker – Warren Zeiders Written By Creed Miller
Warren Zeiders kicked off his 2024 with the country-rock heavyweight “Heartbreaker.” While “Pretty Little Poison” is still climbing the charts, this single seems like he’s finally establishing his voice and moving away from being a kitschy TikTok artist. His voice is strong and it exemplifies his growth as an artist. However, the track does feel a little noisy and over-produced in the chorus; his voice is overshadowed by the band disrupting the song’s otherwise impressive flow. Nevertheless, the song’s punchy fury absolutely lifts this track. Zeiders reflects on the limits of his affection as a “heartbreaker,” and while it’s a good single, it doesn’t have enough charm to make it great. Warren Zeiders is on the right track though, “Heartbreaker” will only help him build momentum.
Straight Line – Keith Urban Written By Max Buondonno
Kicking off the rollout for his 11th studio album, Keith Urban has returned with a brand new single. While the title and cover art could trick you into thinking this will be a deeper track than what Urban has been releasing lately, all of that hope comes to a screeching halt the second you press the play button. Led by a track that sounds much louder than it should, “Straight Line” considers a man’s desire to escape the constant run-around of everyday life with the girl of his dreams. It’s a fine concept that Keith has covered before, but with production that’s more cheerily annoying than fun, and lyrics that don’t always paint a clear picture, the track feels more like a throwaway than a lead single.
Just To Say We Did – Kenny Chesney Written By Max Buondonno
Ahead of the release of his 20th studio album Born, Kenny Cheney delivers another taste of what’s to come with “Just To Say We Did.” Centered around living life to the fullest, making lasting memories, and reminiscing about past adventures, the song (written by Chesney, Brett James, David Lee Murphy, and Matt Dragstrem) is a good-time anthem that’s both relatable and catchy. While previous Chesney songs like “Young” and “Get Along” have previously covered these topics in similar ways, the production and rhythm give “Just To Say We Did” a refreshing feel that makes it perfect for summer barbecues later this year.
Whiskey Girl – HALIE Written By Cam Greene
HALIE’s new song “Whiskey Girl,” is one of the most lyrically surprising songs we’ve received so far in 2024. Although at face value, this song’s premise seems kind of ordinary, there is something unfortunate in its undertone that gives this song a completely different message. The narrator’s boyfriend only talks about forever with her when he’s drinking whiskey; as such, our protagonist is left to continue drinking whiskey because that’s what makes the relationship strong. The execution is beautiful; HALIE’s vocals are stunning, and the smooth guitar makes this track pop. The song is a little bit confusing, and most listeners won’t know for sure if it’s a sad ballad or an optimistic love song featuring a love triangle of a guy, a girl, and some whiskey; either way, it’s still an easily-digestible listen with production that’s smooth like whiskey on the rocks.
Have Faith In Me – Muscadine Bloodline (Ft. Drayton Farley) Written By Cam Greene
Muscadine Bloodline is back with a new installment in their “Teenage Angst” series, this time joined by Drayton Farley; unfortunately, this one misses a lot of the keys that made their 2023 emo covers so impressive. Vocally, there isn’t much to complain about; Farley is fantastic, and the always-great Charlie Muncaster and Gary Stanton perform well. Still, there isn’t a moment in this song that really pops. The lyrics, originally written by A Day To Remember, are okay, but as a song, there isn’t much here that gives Drayton and the Muscadine boys a chance to shine.
Devil You Know – Tyler Braden Written By Christina Bosch
Confidently relaying a warning, Tyler Braden is back with his first release since September. His voice is brooding and raspy, building a great contrast to the heavy chorus of background vocalists that carry the story. Penned by Graham Barham, Jon Hall, Sam Martinez, and Zak Dyer, the track is a deterrent to anyone who would consider wronging our protagonist. Braden’s powerful delivery harkens back to Brantley Gilbert and his country-rock blend. Braden promises that there is a darker, hidden side that he’s ready to let out if he needs to protect himself or those close to him; the rougher energy is a welcome change for the Warner Nashville recording artist. Although his heartbreak songs are great, this is a different direction and is garnering him a ton of new attention and fans.
Bitter Winds – Dylan Gossett Written By Ryan Lippe
Written and produced on his power, Dylan Gossett’s first release of the year sees the continuation of his polished, lo-fi sound. The song starts with an eerie undertone of Gossett and his guitar, but as it progresses, a full ensemble comes through. After the first chorus, the energy and tempo pick up immensely, as does the yearning in Gossett’s voice. With the support of a major label, he’s got the opportunity to express himself and more dimensions to his music with a full band in ways he hasn’t been able to before. Clocking in at four minutes long, not a second is wasted; “Bitter Winds” is packed with emotion and pure country sounds. Artists with such young careers can rarely master their voice, production, and songwriting so early, but Gossett has his self-imagine down to a science with vivid imagery and world-building in his songs. As fans look forward to his next effort, they know Gossett can hit the somber notes, but bringing some high energy would certainly add more flavor to his catalog.
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