You were not that wrong if you call Gone West a “country music superband”. All artist have quite some experience individually – but their 12th June 2020 common debut is still a step into a new story. Here are the first album tunes by Gone West.
Gone West – About The Artists
Gone West are a comparably young country pop act. The band is composed of two couples. Justin Young is the fiance of Colbie Caillat, Jason Reeves and Nelly Joy are married. They are all quite established musicians and songwriters. Iowa-origin Jason reeves, aged 35, is performing and writing music since 2003, the 1978 born Hawaiian Justin Kawika Young is known on stage since 1996. The biggest name in the band is likely Caillat, though, who has even won two Grammy Awards (one as a featured artist of Taylor Swift). Nelly Joy is producing since the 2010’s at least as well.
The first EP released by Gone West was Tides, which has been published on 12th June 2020. All four songs of the EP are part of Canyons, their debut album, as well. The only single which has been ranked in the US Country Charts (#34) was the 2019 What Could’ve Been, which you can also find on the album. Despite the low chart position, the album was quite successful in the internet and for example has some ten million views on YouTube. Due to a lack of non-album songs published, here is the acoustic version of that song.
Gone West – Canyons – Track by Track
Canyons includes 13 songs and lasts 45 minutes.
1. Gone West
Is there something like the a title track for a band? Gone West starts their debut album with Gone West – what could be more appropriate? The track is an easy and happy sound – writing this review in the Friday morning I would say this song is a perfect match to the lovely sunrise – good start of the day.
2. Slow Down
Like Gone West, Slow Downis one of the songs which have been released before the album. It is not melancholic, but the sound feels a bit more thoughtful than the one of the first track. Nice harmony between the musicians, even though I have to say it is a nice track, but not a song which absolutely thrills me.
3. What Could’ve Been
‘Cause we left blood on the tracks, sweat on the saddle
Fire in the hills, a bullet in the barrel
Words never said in a story that didn’t end
It’s like you’re on the mend and I’m on the bottle
We folded our hands with money on the table
Tried moving on, but I keep coming back again
Okay, here we got the first highlight of the album. Very intense song, which I just love to listen to. One key cause for that is that Gone West works perfectly with their different voices in this song – if you got it, you got it. Nice!
4. When To Say Goodbye
When To Say Goodbye was the first song, which I did not know before the album. It connects to What Could’ve Been in style: a rather slow track working with the harmonies between the singers. Thereby, When To Say Goodbye gives me quite a strong Lady Antebellum feeling. I enjoyed the previous track slightly more, but When To Say Goodbye is a good one, definitely.
5. Knew You
Time for some crossover – Knew You gives me summer vibes and reggae feeling, at least during the chorus. Thus, it is a special (and a good) song on Canyons, definitely.
Yeah, my heart didn’t break
When I broke into that old bottle of fancy champagne
I’ve been saving for the perfect time
You can’t rain on my parade
Got my freedom, gonna celebrate
When you left, I was so damn ready
No tears fell, just confetti, ah-woo
Canyons feels to become some candidate for the “Summer Tunes Country Album of the Year”- at least in this part of the album. A song, which makes you smile, makes you want to dance. It may not be the deepest storytelling ever, but still has a lot of country in it. Cool!
7. Never Getting Over You
End of the summer party – or at least an intermission: Never Getting Over You is a slow piano ballad. I like the quiet moments now after the party vibes , but I have to admit that this song does not have that presence you felt in some of the songs before. Could be a great moment on stage, though.
8. Gamblin’ Town
It’s hard to keep a poker face when you ain’t got the cards
The dealer’s got no heart when you need one
It’s hard to know who you can trust when everybody lies
Gotta to survive or you’re done
Canyons stays in the slow and intense kinds of songs.
‘Cause this is a gamblin’ town
Don’t you kid yourself
In a one-in-a-million crowd
The stakes are high as hell
You know you gotta
Take the wheel, spin it round
Go home or double down
This is a gamblin’ town
So deal me another round
I like the lyrics quite much here. One of the most interesting tracks of the album to me.
9. Talkin’ Bout You
Not having the summer feeling of Knew You or Confetti – but Talkin’ But You definitely is going back to the happier melodies. A comparably short track, which might be rather hidden on the album if it was not placed right behind that section of slow songs.
Another happy and easy song, which is having this Lady Antebellum touch. Definitely, a good production, but R&R took quite some time to really make me listen to it, feel the story and the lyrics.
11. Home Is Where the Heartbreak Is
Gone West released this track before the album, so you might know it as well. One of the tracks on the album where you feel the vast musical quality of the band most – even though it is not in my top song list of Canyons. Let’s take it as an amuse-gueule for future songs by these four.
12. This Time
Did I mention we are back in the more emotional songs again? This Time is a track, which definitely attracted me from the very beginning. It is one of these “Wow”-songs to me. Thanks for that one.
If Canyons is your summer party track, then Tide is some sort of friendly reminder to see if you haven’t left your car keys or cell phone somewhere. Not the ugly 1970’s song, which works as the get-out dance, but a hint that you may leave within the next half an hour in order to miss it. This description is a bit harsh, maybe, but finally Tides does not add too much to the album. It is a finisher, that’s all.
Gone West – Canyons – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Canyons:
Gone West – Canyons – My View
Superbands need to produce super-music? If that would be the case, Canyons could be seen as a fail. In fact, the great talent in Gone West of four pops up here and there quite significantly, but you feel that there is still quite some potential for much more. The band left a statement with their debut, which is much better than average already – but if they do their whole potential for a full album, this will be an absolute blast. I definitely like Canyons, but I even more look forward for their next step!
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