Having already penned tracks for many of country’s biggest stars, it’s now time for these writers to release their debut
The five writers who make up Old Dominion have written hits for the likes of Keith Urban and Luke Bryan, and they’ve used a similar formula of R&B-drenched country for their own debut. Knowingly irresponsible and radio friendly from the start, it is an album which will definitely divide opinion.
This isn’t county music for the purist. Pop hooks, choruses and lyrics bordering on the misogynistic, dominate. Snapback leads the way with a romance which takes shape in the form of a “Midnight selfie on a balcony.” Nowhere Fast is full of regrets for a lost summer romance, but uncomfortably less so about drink driving with lead singer Matthew Ramsey sharing memories of “Beer on our breath in a parking lot / Kill the headlights so we wouldn’t get caught.”
Despite the record’s missteps, one thing for certain is that Old Dominion know how to write a memorable tune. Songs like Wrong Turns and Crazy Beautiful Sexy have the necessary ingredients to be guilty pleasures, with a familiar singalong feel to some of Blake Shelton’s most popular singles (another artist they have written for).
Meat And Candy can perhaps best be summed up by one couplet, taken from Beer Can In A Truck Bed: “She was diggin’ up her sundress, showing off her tatty / She said, ‘I like your ride, maybe you could be my caddy’”. Humorous and catchy or slight and immature? This one could go either way!
Verdict: Modern country at its most divisive