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Good Years by The Shires

There are 2 prevailing theories as to the direction Country music should go as a genre. Some, like Tyler Childers, argue Country music is best when kept raw and drawing heavily on its early roots. Others feel an evolution is necessary and welcome programmed beats or heavy Pop-like layers. The Shires ascribes to the second ideology.

The album begins with a meticulously perfect harmony as the opening line. I couldn’t help seeing in my head a man and a woman on a stage.

Curtains go up, spotlights drop, and the two begin singing as if starting a musical. That theatrical element carries throughout the whole song. Going back into the chorus, all instruments drop out again and we’re met with the same meticulously recorded vocal harmony. Once again, I saw a bustling stage with extras running back and forth about their busy lives. Suddenly everything stops and the two far flung lovers find themselves reminiscing at the same moment about each other. Whether or not that was the intention, it illustrates the point very well.

My two favorite tracks on this record are New Year and Crazy Days. New Years tackles an incredibly hard subject but I think does so well in songwriting. Its hard writing about a holiday or even a certain event. Like a protest song, as soon as that moment fades, the song loses relevance. New Years though focuses on 2 lovers. The story revolves around a New Years Eve kiss they may or may not have. Its an interesting song and I can see it being very applicable during all times of year, but especially playable in that awkward moment before New Years and after Christmas. The second song I enjoyed was Crazy Days. What is amazing is this song totally seems applicable to the age of social distancing. I am sure this song was written months or even years ago. Somehow though it conveys being trapped in something you want to get out of. Let’s be honest, these truly are crazy days.

This album glistens with Pop sensibilities and enough Country leanings to keep it honest. Many of the songs I can hear being backed up by a bluegrass quartet and I appreciate that. For me this album though comes across as more of a soundtrack to a Broadway musical and not the soundtrack of anyone’s life.

Written by Columbia Jones


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