A real Nashville release: Mitchell Tenpenny is a Music City native – and since Drunk Me latest, also a rather major part of the US country music scene. On 10th September 2021, he is releasing his Midtown Diaries, which are officially sold as an EP. Here are my thoughts.
Mitchell Tenpenny – About The Artist
Mitchell Tenpenny is a Music City native: he was born on 17th August 1989 in Nashville. His granmother is the former CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Donna Hilley. Tenpenny was also very talented in American Football, but then opted rather for a musical career. In April 2015, he debuted with the album Black Crow. The album did not have any commercial success. His following longer publication, Linden Ave (EP, 2017) interestingly made it into the Top 10 of the US Heat and US Indie Charts. 2018 paved the route to country music success for Mitchell Tenpenny. Driven by the single Drunk Me (US Country #6, US Country Airplay #2, Canada Country #2), he had a rather successful self-titled EP as as well as the album Telling All My Secrets, which made it into the Top 5 of the US Country Album Charts.
Mitchell Tenpenny – Midtown Diaries – Track by Track
The eight song EP lasts 25 minutes.
1. To Us It Did
The EP comes with three already released tracks and five new ones (definitely a good quota in Nashville relations). Tenpenny starts on the safe side, however, and gives us a comfy feeling with the (to me, at least) best song of all pre-releases. Very catchy, a lot of energy. Good song -the Midtown Diaries start with a smile.
2. Good Thing
It’s a good thing you love me – the second track is a bit of slower than its predecessor, especially during the verses. I really love Tenpenny’s performance on the vocal part of this song. Two songs so far, two thumbs up. Would not mind to continue that streak…
3. I Can’t Love You Anymore
Sometimes the mood of the artist on an EP changes from one song to another. Love is the topic again on this track – but this time from the negative side. I feel that the song is too repetitive in two regards. First of all, the chorus feels a bit too simple to me. Secondly and more important, the track feels too similar to its predecessor to me. Still a good recording, but just adding a little less value to the listening experience.
4. Bucket List
I’ma love a little more, dream a little deeper
Leave all the leavers, keep all the keepers
Find peace of mind in the time the good Lord gives
I’ma cross one off, put two more on it
Say “I love you” ‘fore the moment’s gone
And never have to ask myself “What if”
When I get to the bottom of my bucket list
The second single release on this EP comes with a nice rhythm and a good vibe. I love the strong raspy voice in the chorus – even though I feel that just looking at the song as such, on the story and the melody, it is not an outstanding one. Very good production.
5. Truth About You
If you quit telling lies about me I won’t tell the truth about you – I just had to think about Jana Kramer’s postings on social media after the divorce from Mike Caussin. Sorry Mitchell for that – I am sure there is no link between the song and the country-social media girl and the former American Football professional. These thoughts just tell you: Truth about you is a very relatable song. I enjoy the story.
6. A Girl’s Love
If I would have to name the song on Midtown Diaries with the most special and unique character, it would be A Girl’s Love. There is a pop touch, sometimes the song even reminds me of blues rock songs. The good thing: it sounds like Tenpenny all the time. Even though other songs are much deeper, I just like it.
7. Don’t Let Me Let You
The rhythmic style of this song, almost hip hop-alike in the verses, makes this song feel very pop-ish. However, Tenpenny goes back to his musical comfort zone – the chorus could be used as such (melodically) on several tracks of this EP. This also leads to the key issue of this song to me: the verses are at least special, the guitar solo in the middle is cool – bad luck that the chorus is a bit of lame.
8. She Hates Me Too
Let’s describe the finale in three words: country power ballad. Mitchell Tenpenny says farewell with a song, which is touching the listener’s emotions. Unfortunately, She Hates Me Too moves a bit too much towards the other other songs of the EP the longer the track lasts.
Mitchell Tenpenny – Midtown Diaries – Spotify
Here are the Midtown Diaries on Spotify:
Mitchell Tenpenny – Midtown Diaries – My View
Despite the critical words, Midtown Diaries is a good EP. But the critical words are there for a reason. It is hard to argue against a certain level of monotony. I expected better. On the other hand, I am thankful for a rather long EP (even though the pricing on Amazon.de is also on album level).
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