A couple new albums came out recently and I have been listening to them as time allows.
One was a pretty big deal and I knew it was coming weeks if not months before it actually "dropped".
The other one kind of slipped past my radar and it was only as I was browsing through Spotify that I noticed it.
Midland - Let it Roll
Next to Old Dominion, Midland is probably one of my most favorite current country bands. This isn't the first time I have written about Midland. I was lucky enough to see them in concert a couple of years ago with @mrsbozz and two of my nieces.
If you visit their website, you can tell the band has an "old feel" about them. From the way they dress to their early country sound, there is something very nostalgic and comforting about them.
They come from Texas and their band name is taken from the Title of a Dwight Yoakam song according to Spotify. That really isn't surprising to me as the sound on some of their songs is very reminiscent of Mr. Yoakam. The debut single from this album "Mr. Lonely" is a fine example of that.
Two more of my favorites from the album are "Cheatin Songs" which reminds me of the old John Anderson song "She Just Started Liking Cheatin' Songs". The other one would be "Every Song's A Drinkin Song". The idea and lyrics may seem simple, but their delivery and musicianship turn it into something much bigger.
Let's be honset, the majority of country music these days is dominated by solo male acts. Most of the songs are about tailgates, turn-rows, and tan-lines. For me it is refreshing to hear the "new old" sound of Midland and I consider any song or album they put forth to be a gem. Check it out!
Taylor Swift - Lover
It is no secret that I am a huge Taylor Swift fan. I follow her on Instagram and I saw this album coming from about a mile away. She has been releasing new music for the past couple of months starting with "Me".
More recently she accelerated things and released "You Need to Calm Down" and "The Archer" in fairly quick succession.
I am going to be honest, I wasn't really a fan of the Reputation album when it first came out. For me it was too big of a departure from what got her where she is. I felt that she had lost a little bit of her songwriting touch. As I listened to it more, it grew on me and some of the slower songs really started to stand out.
I was lucky enough to see Taylor Swift on the world tour for her 1989 album. It was an absolutely fantastic show and to me besides Red, I feel it is one of her strongest albums lyrically. I am happy to say that in my opinion, Lover returns to that formula while still holding on to the best parts of Reputation.
Taylor has a way of turning a phrase and writing a lyric that can really connect with you and your emotions. As a big fan of music, I have listened to a lot of stuff in my lifetime. It is a rare few artists that can paint a picture so vividly in my mind with their lyrics like Taylor Swift can.
When I first heard "ME!" I kind of thought it was a joke, the lyrics seemed silly and I was afraid that was the direction this album was going to go. I soon realized that 1. I just dig the guy from Panic at the Disco's voice, and 2. Silly is okay as is evidenced by "Shake it Off".
For whatever reason Taylor has a lot of haters but she does a fantastic job of making light of it and turning it into something very masterful.
Some people don't feel that songs should get political, I think there is a large group of people from the 60's and 70's that would disagree with that. That's why I don't really mind the message that she clearly puts forth in "You Need to Calm Down".
For me two of the standout songs on the album are the insanely simple but beyond fantastic title track "Lover" and the upbeat and fun song "Paper Rings". I have a feeling that by about Christmas time there won't be a track on the album that I am not totally in love with.
Taylor Swift : Lover and Midland : Let it Roll, are two must check out albums of the year. I encourage you to listen to them the way all good music should be... In the dark with an exceptional set of headphones.
All pictures were taken by me