This is a great reminder that the "western” in country and western has not been lost; it’s an excellent showcase of the many styles and influences in California and the importance of that state to country’s heritage.
One of the best, most country mainstream releases we have seen in awhile, exactly what modern Music Row output should look like. The production is flawless, and it’s an example of how polish can sometimes work in a record’s favor.
Exhibit A for the fact that Southern rock is still cool and can exist in thrive in 2019. It’s been as marginalized as traditional country, and it’s awesome to see the Steel Woods carrying the torch and doing it so well.
One of the most fascinating records of the year, focusing on the morbid and macabre and managing to do so in a thoroughly accessible and compelling way.
Not much to say here, just simply a gorgeous collection of songs. Some candidates for the best songwriting of 2019.
One of those records where everything just works, from the melodies to the vocals to the sweeping arrangements. Michaela Anne does an excellent job here of setting the wide open spaces of California and Arizona to music.
Shane Smith & the Saints have finally managed to capture all the beauty of their live show in album form. The best harmonies you will hear on any 2019 release.
From the lyrics to the vocals to the production, where it sounds as if Godwin recorded the whole album in forgotten mines and on lonely mountainsides, this is a beautiful tribute to his home state of West Virginia.
Everything comes together on Jade Bird’s debut record, from her incredible vocals to the angst in the writing to the variety in production and mood. An excellent, very re-playable record.