You may easily agree that there are more beautiful and less beautiful musicians in the worldl of country music. Nevertheless, it may feel quite new and surprising that there is also a band which is described by the media as Country Music Boy Band: King Calaway is quite new in the business, but already quite well reputed. On 4th October 2019, they released their debut album Picture Of The Way You Are.
King Calaway – About The Artists
King Calaway exist since 2018. The six members are Caleb Miller, Chris Deaton, Simon Dumas, Jordan Harvey, Chad Michael Jervis and Austin Luther. While five of the members are raised in the USA, Dumas grew up in Gibraltar and studied in Manchester. In early 2019, they released their self-titled debut EP.
King Calaway – Rivers – Track By Track
The King Calaway debut album lasts 40 minutes. It contains 12 tracks. There are a couple of very famous songwriters behind the songs, e.g. Devin Dawson, Mitchell Tenpenny or Dave Barnes, but none of the songs have been written by the band itself.
1. No Matter What
The album starts with a very well produced country pop song, which you may already know from the EP. The song is definitely catchy and well-trimmed towards airplay success.
2. More Than I Do
More Than I Do does have some own character – still, I could more or less write the same about it like I wrote about No Matter What: well-produced and written stuff, sounds good, is catchy, but also has this artificial touch on it.
Funnily, even the title track Rivers has already been released on the EP which King Calaway published early this year. Hmm, you get into the Calaway groove… But I feel they are still far away from being kings.
I know where we belong, I know where we feel free
And it goes on and on, like rivers to the sea
I knew it all along that you were meant for me
And it goes on and on, like rivers to the sea
The more I listen to Rivers (the album, not the song), the more I get some monotonic feeling. The songs are not too different so far. They are good, but they are a bit too repetitive.
5. Missing You
Great to have some variety now. Finally. Missing you is a die-hard ballad. After some swaying and partying, it is now the right time for cuddling. The boys proof that they can sing, it is a good arrangement as well.
6. Driver’s Seat
No, it is not a remake of the famous song by Sniff’n The Tears – soft verses, more power in the chorus and a completely new song. Oh, Oh, Oh! Below is the (non-abum) acoustic version.
7. Grow Old
Grow Old starts very slow with strong vocals, but then becomes quite country alike. To me, one of the most characteristic tracks of the album, definitely – even though towards the end, it more and more feels to develop like some of the songs before.
8. I Do
Cuddling and romance, part II: I really like one as well. It is a bit chlichéd, but somehow also a nice sound. A touch of romance, a pinch of country and a lot of boyband – the young country girls already love that song, as it was released on the January EP.
9. Picture of the Way You Are
The song is a bit like riding a Ford Mustang GT, where somebody replaced the motor by the one of an electric smart: you wait for the big thrill, but somehow you know you have to wait quite long – the longest track on the album (4:16 minutes) is one of the worst to me.
10. World For Two
Not just because these tunes were also on the EP, World For Two was the best rated song on some of the platforms I looked around. I feel that the ratings are right: it is the same mixture of country, boyband and the touch of love for the targeted customers – but the cocktail they mixed out of these ingredients is just one of the best of the album.
11. Love the One You’re With
Oh no! Did they really have to that? The good old Stephen Stills classic in a new sound. It is not too bad, but still, I stuggle to like it.
12. I Did
That’s very boy band-alike – a soft and gentle ballad to make the (girls’?) hearts melt away. Not too much country in this track.
King Calaway – Rivers – Spotify
The Spotify widget allows you to listen to Rivers:
King Calaway – Rivers – My View
On the one hand, the album is fascinating: it really feels like a touch of boy band sound – though it is definitely quite nicely produced modern country music. I cannot identify any track which is really bad. I don’t get a grip on Picture Of The Way You Are and I feel that cover of Love The One You’re With is not really a song I was waiting for, but overall the production of the album is good. I still don’t like it too much. It is lacking character, songs you know you will think of tomorrow when you listen to the album today. I am sure Rivers will be successful, but I might not be in the Driver’s Seat for that.
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Album cover / TItle picture: Artist material