I am always glad to have a listen into debut long-plays by country artists. Ashley Cooke is releasing Already Drank That Beer on 27th August 2021. The eight tracks are officially the first part of her debut album. Here is my review.
Ashley Cooke – About The Artist
Unfortunately, I could not find too much bio information about Ashley Cooke. She was born in Parkland in Florida, but also has Californian background. As far as I could reconcile, her first major success in music was together with her sister Jenn Cooke. Jenn seems to have quit the music business and works in finance as well as a model and actress – she was Miss North Dallas USA in 2021. Ashley pursued a solo career after their common project “The Lockets” did not continue. Ashley Cookes first solo single studio recording was Jealous Of The Sky in 2020.
Ashley Cooke – Already Drank That Beer Side A – Track by Track
The eight track album lasts 25 minutes.
1. Gettin’ Somewhere
Slow start into Already Drank That Beer Side A: Gettin’ Somewhere is rather a mid-tempo country track with pop influences. The song gets me with a lovely groove and the vocal performance by Ashley Cooke. Comfortable, but not outstanding first step into this (half-)album.
The following three tracks have all been released by Ashley Cooke before this publication – so her fans will already be in their comfort zone. Similar tempo than the opener, almost with a ballad feeling, but quite deep and well-produced. Good song.
3. Sunday Morning Kinda Sunday Night
Okay, if you released a song like that before your debut album, you must have some sort of talent, I guess. Almost two million streams on Spotify for this song on Spotify only at the time I wrote this review. A song which feels like being in the center of Ashley Cooke’s comfort zone – a bit of sad that the two songs on this album before are not that different than this track.
4. Already Drank That Beer
Honestly, this title track was the song which made me have a deeper listen into Cooke’s music. Even a bit of more gentle and softer than the songs before, as the acoustic guitar plays a stronger role. Not a typical drinking track, for sure – but a good listen.
5. Opposite of Love
Opposite of Love is a song, which I longed for while listening to these eight songs. Much stronger grooving than the songs before, the track moves a bit away from the sound of the first four tracks on the album. Ashley Cooke does sound really good in here – why doesn’t she dare to do it a bit more differently more often?
6. Good Goodbye (feat. Jimmie Allen)
The sixth track features the really lovely collaboration of Ashley Cooke and Jimmy Allen. The result is a very harmonic country music duet. Definitely one of the highlights of this publication.
7. First Time, Last Night
Two new songs at the end of Side A of her album. First Time, Last Night does not feel like a new song, though. We are back into Ashley Cooke mainstream sound. Bad luck – I expected more variety in this album.
8. Never Til Now
At least, in the last song, Ashley Cooke makes me smile. The gentle acoustic guitar ballad Never Til Now gives a perfect showpiece of her amazing voice. To me, the best song out of these eight – also because it is so much different. This also makes it feel more personal to me.
Ashley Cooke – Already Drank That Beer Side A – Spotify
Here is Already Drank That Beer on Spotify:
Ashley Cooke – Already Drank That Beer Side A – My View
First of all, I just have to come back to my Does Length Matter posting I did some weeks ago. I just feel that Nashville is destroying their own fan base one day if there are so many short albums, deluxe versions etc. I do understand the rationales and constraints that especially young artists have to go that way – but they just make things worse. The 9.99 EUR Amazon Germany is giving you a price of .40 EUR per minute – and hardly any discount on buying the songs individually (nasty .33 EUR, to be precise). Nothing local – there is even absolutely no discount on Amazon US if you buy all eight tracks in a bulk. Of course, people will rarely buy the music then. You cannot complain that streaming is destroying good recorded music – if in fact you are part of the problem.
This is the big dark cloud which is in the sunny sky of Already Drank That Beer Side A. The eight songs are in fact good. They could have stronger individual character. The recording with Jimmie Allen or Opposite of Love illustrate that Ashley Cooke is good outside her signature and characteristic sound. An album should illustrate the wide range of a talent of an artist – even if it is broken into pieces for commercial reasons. She could do much better in that way, I am sure.
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