Since Charley Crockett started releasing music in 2015, he is very active in the music market. On 17th September 2021, he is already releasing the second album this year. Here are my thoughts about Music City USA.
Charley Crockett – About The Artist
Charley Crockett was born in 1984 in San Benito in the very South of Texas. He is a distant relative of Davy Crockett. In his teenage years, he started to tour as a musician with his guitar. The French Quarters of New Orleans have been one of his first musical home areas. Since 2005, Crockett is active as a professional musician. He is not only doing country music, but also performs blues and other Americana genres. In 2015, Charley Crockett releases his first album, A Stolen Angel. Since then, he released an overall of eight albums – the last one being 10 for Slim: Charley Crockett Sings James Hand in February 2021.
Charley Crockett – Music City USA – Track by Track
The 16 track album lasts 49 minutes.
1. Honest Fight
If you like new country / modern country songs, Charley Crockett is telling you from the beginning: this may not be your comfort zone. Honest Fight comes with a very traditional groove, steel guitars and other traditional sounds. Not the right one to run wild at a Nashville Broadway honky-tonk. But that’s the kind of music you need in a soundtrack when a cowboy is doing his job in the wide prairie in a movie.
2. I Need Your Love
The brass sounds at the beginning of I Need Your Love rather give you a blues than a country music feeling. A bit too kitschy for me, even though it is somehow a nice vibe.
I need your love pretty darlin’ I’ve got to have all of your love
I need it so much and it’s strange how you got me feeling this way
I need your love pretty baby, yes I’ve got to have all of your love
I need it so much and it’s strange how you got me feeling this way
I need your love
3. The World Just Broke My Heart
The title of the third song already suggests that we we not move away too much from the rather romantic and love-related topics. A good classic country vibe, a touch of bluegrass. Excuse me please, the world just broke my heart – nice way to state that in a song.
4. Are We Lonesome Yet
The fiddle is going for rather happy and uplifting tune in Are We Lonesome Yet. The way Charley Crockett sings just matches the traditional style of the songs before – thus, the song just cannot feel too modern, but it is entertaining.
5. This Foolish Game
The Foolish Game is the second song in which Charley Crockett is sounding more like blues or soul than like bluegrass or traditional country. Actually,, I feel that he and his band create a beautiful sound and atmosphere in here. Label it however you like – to me, it is a good one.
6. Round This World
The sixth track is the first real uptempo song of the album. If this album is a soundtrack for the cowboys, he needs a fast mustang for this ride. Good song, which is also having a nice, dramatic touch.
I’m goin’ ‘cross this land
I’ll be that banjo pickin’ man
It’s been a long, long, long, long time
That I’ve had you on my mind
On my mind, that I’ve had you on my mind
On my mind and true love’s hard to find
Well I’ve done had you on my mind
7. Music City USA
Here is the title track. Already the first notes tell you that this is a straight, very traditional production. A typical easy country rhythm, intense steel guitar in the background. The ladies choir in the back is a bit too much to me, though.
8. Just So You Know
It’s too late for tears, that well has run dry
And I suppose you could blame it on the times
This sort of thing happens every day in the good ol’ U S of A
Okay, these kind of stories do not only happen at the U S of A. Overall, a pretty nice ballad with a very present rhythm. If it wasn’t that pathetic, it would definitely be even better.
9. Lies And Regret
The beginning of Lies And Regret reminds me of the classic Elvis Presley country tracks. This also means that the sound is somehow quite entertaining, Charley Crockett even makes me move to the rhythm while listening to this ninth song of the album.
10. I Won’t Cry
Sometimes, I have weird thoughts while starting to listen to a song. My first thought about I Wont’t Cry while I was writing this review was, “This is a waltz, ain’t it”? I am still pretty sure about it. So if you need one for your next country music wedding party, give it a try. Regardless which rhythm and classical dance it is, it is definitely actually not that bad.
It’s smoky here in this barroom
And frankly, I can’t feel a thing
Though it’s smoky you can see the heartache
I might smile but I suffer for you only
Yes ma’am this barroom sure is smoky
Apart from very traditional sounds, Charley Crockett is again and again surprising me with some other sounds in this album. Smoke with its nicely swaying rhythm is one of them. The track also tends to feel rather modern – at least in this collection of classic vibes.
12. Muddy Water
Washed my hands in muddy water
Washed my hands but they didn’t come clean
Tried to do like daddy told me
But I must have washed my hands in a muddy stream
Love it or hate it – some of the songs in Music City USA are just quite stereotype. A bit too country-alike. Something I don’t like too much about this one.
A song which reminds me of the opening Honest FIght. Very traditional, very slow, with a rhythm, which feels to keep on exactly the same way for during the whole song. In order to avoid that the drummer is not falling asleep, this one is less than three minutes.
14. Only Game In Town
Charley Crockett as the storyteller: in this track, the artist is acting more like a narrator. The lyrics are about gambling – But remember, its the only game in town. Cool song, definitely one of my favorites.
15. Hanger On
Hanger On is a rather short one, but it comes with a nice rhythm and some beautiful instrumental part. So if you are into classic country music tunes, this could definitely become one of the songs on top of your list.
16. Skip A Rope
The album closes a bit of dark-ish with Skip A Rope. Great vibes here, Charley Crockett is doing just what is necessary to turn this song into a really good one.
Charley Crockett – Music City USA – Spotify
Here is Music City USA on Spotify:
Charley Crockett – Music City USA – My View
I am not too much into traditional country sounds. After a few songs I felt I should skip this review. But then I gave the album a full try – and the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it. There are a lot of unique sounds, a lot of different songs in these stories about Music City USA. Actually, Charley Crockett really does great and creates 16 quite individual episodes of his storybook. Very good one!
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