Released: Jul 16, 2013
Label: A-Blake Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
This album is solid despite the surprising and underwhelming covers. There are certain artists in modern country whose music is best left alone, because there ain't a soul out there who could play it better.
Keep It Country
BwareDWare94, on august 08, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Jason Cassidy gained a lot of respect as a Texas Country artist, and elements of the genre are still rampant in his sound, most notably the extensive use of fiddle throughout the album. One welcomes it because it sounds as though it belongs there, unlike current Nashville pop crossovers who are adding things like hip hop beats to their songs, which sound absolutely absurd. Something a studied country fan notices immediately with this album is the three cover songs: "Blame It on Waylon" (originally co-written and recorded by Josh Thompson), "Cover Your Eyes" (originally co-written and recorded by Jamey Johnson), and "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink" (originally written and recorded by Merle Haggard). Cassidy does justice to these three monster songs, but he doesn't even come close to approaching the greatness that Thompson and Johnson originally accomplished with the original recordings, and perhaps his cover of Haggard only sounds so good because so many people have covered it, and poorly. Aside from these shocking song selections (and hell, who knows, maybe his label forced these tunes on him), this album is chock full of beer drinkers and tear-jerkers, most notably the wonderful "You (Wedding Song)" and "Need Her More." There is definitely a bit of Nashville in the sound of "Keep It Country," but Cassidy maintains his Texas roots and doesn't wander into the pop-crossover drivel that is smothering the national radio waves. As a fan of traditional country, thank goodness for artists like Jason Cassidy. // 7
Lyrics: Much like its predecessor (the wonderful "My Redemption"), "Keep It Country" goes back and forth between average country lyrics and moments of touching lyrical revelation. Cassidy kills it with slower, serious songs, and it's unfortunate that they no longer sell in today's market. Fortunately, listeners will find that they could care less about the lyrics because he's such a talented singer, hitting a variety of notes with relative ease and comfort. Much like his lyrics, this is most noticeable on slower numbers like the aforementioned "You (Wedding Song)" and the breathtaking "Need Her More," the highlight of the album. The song follows the same format as "What If" from his previous album, with a verse/chorus/verse/chorus/outro format, leaving the listener before it becomes too much. Though he'll never shine lyrically (at least as far as an entire album is concerned), one listen to Jason Cassidy's voice and you might find yourself hooked. I know I was, and as long as Jason wants to record touching, unrelenting, soul-reaching slower songs, I'll be listening. // 7
Overall Impression: Overall, this album is solid despite the surprising and underwhelming covers. There are certain artists in modern country whose music is best left alone, because there ain't a soul out there who could play it better, and needless to say, Jamey Johnson and Josh Thompson are two of those artists. If I could have personally given Cassidy advice prior to the recording of this album, I would have told him to leave those two songs alone. His versions are admirable, but they just don't hold water when they're compared head on with their predecessors. I only mention this again because of how distracting their presence on the album was, and it certainly detracts from the final score I've given the album. The other songs on the record are solid, with a couple of standouts I've already noted. This is decent Texas Country, but very good Nashville country. Depending on your market, it's either passable or an album you absolutely need. Either way, a listen wouldn't hurt, and if you're a traditionalist country fan like me, I highly doubt you'll be disappointed if you give "Keep It Country" a spin.
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