Brent Cobb’s very own music is rather traditional: while the Georgian origin had some great success as a songwriter and by that lead to quite some success for a couple of songs, his own releases are rather deep. On 2nd October 2020, he came back to the record stores with Keep ’em on They Toes.
Brent Cobb – About The Artist
Brent Cobb was born on 1st August 1986 in Americus in Southern Georgia. He is a singer-songwriter, who is successful as an artist as well as a songwriter for other artists. He has family background in music: his father was part of a rock band, his cousin, who finally had a huge impact at the beginning of Brent Cobb’s career, has been working as a producer in Los Angeles. Cobb recorded his first album, No Place Left to Leave in 2006 in the studio of his cousin. The album did not create measurable success in the charts, but still caused some reaction in the industry. Finally, Luke Bryan suggested Cobb to move to Nashville, what he finally did in 2008. Cobb’s first major success as a songwriter was Tailgate Blues, recorded by Luke Bryan in 2011. Other artist, who worked with Cobb, are Frankie Ballard, Little Big Town or Miranda Lambert. Her song Platinum, for example, is a Cobb writing.
Cobb still pursued his solo career, but after a not too successful EP in 2012, it took him until 2016, when Shine On Rainy Day made it to the album charts for Country and Folk as well as the US Heat charts. The 2018 Providence Canyon had similar success.
B. Cobb – Keep ’em on They Toes – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 37 minutes.
1. Keep ’em on they toes
The title track is a quiet song, which gains quite some power during the intense chorus. The slightly squeaky voice (doesn’t it have a slight touch of Bob Dylan) is thereby very present and characteristic. Nice.
2. Shut up and sing
Shut up and sing feels like a long story told – and with 4:46 minutes, it is also the longest track on the album. Especially around the bridge, it feels like a traditional country song with a late 1960’s touch. The storytelling as such as well as the rhythm turns this song to a good listen – even though I would rather skip the purely instrumental episodes, which simply feel too much to me.
3. Good times and good love
Good times and good lovin’ don’t last forever That’s too bad because those are two things I really like You know you make the good times even better So let’s get together and make some good love last all night
Good times and good love is the first track on the album which is steadily melodic. A really nice, traditional country sound.
4. Sometimes I’m a clown
Two guitars, drums, bass, an organ, a fiddle and two backing vocals – you just cannot argue that Cobb goes for thin arrangements on his album (the one I just listed is of course the one of Sometimes I’m a clown). The sound he creates is very harmonic – sometimes, I would even say that certain collaborators could be more present in the overall recording.
5. This side of the river
While the previous tracks majorly tended to have a rather dark and deep touch of sound, This side of the river feels to be comparably happy and melodic (comparably… it is still not a summer playa song).
On this side of the river It’s warm and cozy, neighbors ain’t nosy It’s where I grew up The rest of my family I can’t help it if I know no better than this Besides I like it here So I guess God dammit Where the risk is low, the water is high On this side of the river
The song itself paints a very one-sided lifestyle.
6. Dust under my rug
Will Keep ’em on They Toes really turn into a party album? Dust under my rug is the first song on the album, which makes you feel like dancing. Very power, with a touch of rock’n’roll in it (but still very traditional country tunes – nice!
7. Soapbox (feat. Nikki Lane)
I would name Soapbox the heart and soul of the album – the beautiful duet with Nikki Lane is just a lovely collaboration. Lovely melody and rhythm. I would love Nikki Lane to be a bit more present in the vocals maybe, though.
I don’t preach no tricks, don’t talk politics I’m just a casual singer holding my stones and my sticks If I got a problem my job is pour my heart in a song Well, hot dog, your opinion is louder than mine You might wear out my nerves, but you ain’t changing my mind by, good God, let’s hop off the soap box and get along
8. When you go
Just an acoustic guitar, a fiddle, a banjo and some B3/organ – When you go has one of the leanest arrangements of the album. Even though the album does feel a bit like a rock music track to me, this setup is just lacking power. Bad luck, I would love to listen to this track in different styles as well. Could be a blast.
9. The world is ending
The world is ending is again very deep and thoughtful.
Shootin’ stars out my window Down the barrel of a gun Ricochet off a moon beam Look there goes the sun
You just have to actively listen to Brent Cobb and allow his stories to touch you – otherwise, this album will be a fail.
10. Little stuff
Keep your light lit And a tight grip on all the good folks that you love Let the rain go, chase the rainbow There’s a lot of truth in all that little stuff Ain’t that enough?
This soft and gentle track feels like a soulful lullaby to me. Again, the album presents a track, which feels very minimalist and vocal-centric. To me, it is definitely an impressive track.
Brent Cobb – Keep ’em on They Toes – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to the album:
Brent Cobb – Keep ’em on They Toes – My View
I have to admit that these kind of albums are the hardest for me in reviews. I might miss details as a non-native English speaker, especially when I try to write reviews about the tracks in parallel. This is just not the way you should approach Brent Cobb’s songs – he simply deserves that you fully concentrate on his songs and lyrics. If you don’t do so, he might bore you – and this is what makes Keep ’em on they Toes a very exhausting listen… in a somehow positive way. However, it is not genius enough to simply fascinate you.