Album Reviews

Old Dominion – Meat and Candy – Album Review

Old Dominion take Nashville by Storm with Debut Album Meat and Candy


By Hannah Compton

Old Dominion (an all-male, five-piece band ) are relatively new to country music and released their debut album Meat and Candy last year. Although only releasing their first album, they had previously released a successful EP – produced by Shane McAnally (also known for being a well established songwriter.)

Before hitting it off as a band, some members of Old Dominion were already known to the industry, having written or co written songs that are very well known to the country community for artists such as;

Chris Young (Neon)
The Band Perry (Better Dig Two) – (Chainsaw)
Dierks Bentley (Say You Do)
Tyler Farr (A Guy Walks Into a Bar) as well as songs for Kenny Chesney, The Randy Rogers Band and for the ABC’s Nashville.

Despite gaining a huge fan base and musical respect from some of Country’s finest musicians, it took a while for Old Dominion to be offered a record deal even with the strength of their EP landing them a spot on Kenny Chesney’sBig Revival’ tour. But after a few unsuccessful showcases it all changed with releasing the single Break Up With Him – the one song on Meat and Candy that was written by all five members. The Highway FM began playing the song – then a few other stations followed suit even though playing a song of an unsigned band is something that rarely happens, if at all. Eventually, Old Dominion were signed by RCA Nashville and signed their deal in Nashville Airports baggage claim. I guess they must have been in a hurry and had only a certain amount of time to do so, well at least it is a more interesting place to sign than an intimidating label office.

Being a bit out of the loop music wise recently, I had completely missed the hype of Old Dominion until late 2015. I can be forgiven – I was having a baby. Not being too absent from Twitter, Old Dominion were certainly a name that kept appearing on my twitter feed over and over again. Due to this, I had to give the album a listen and immediately downloaded it on apple music, I warmed to their sound instantly.

From the first track, Old Dominion have you captivated with their Soul sounding rhythmic beats, blended with a bit of country and contemporary rock. Every song on the album is decent, although some sound a little bit similar to others – but they are all still worthy songs.

Lead singer – Matthew Ramsey has a great soulful tone to his voice and in some places sounds very much like Darius Rucker.

All the tracks are catchy and memorable. I particularly like Said Nobody which has a funky style to it with an almost Reggae crossover.

The debut single Break up with him is also a great track and again very catchy. Not only do I see an element of Darius Rucker on this track but also that of Sam Hunt. I guess if Old Dominion didn’t receive a record deal, it may have even been recorded by one of the mentioned artists. The music video to this song is fun too with its Back To The Future theme where the band play characters such as Marty Mcfly, Biff, Lorraine and George McFly and is based mostly around the famous High School dance scene.

Other stand out tracks are SnapbackCrazy Beautiful Sexy, Half Empty and the more Down tempo songs Nowhere Fast and We Got It Right.

Old Dominion are not your typical country band so may not be everyone’s cup of tea, in fact, I can imagine more of the older generation not being too favourable towards the album. This, in my opinion, would be that despite not being a particularly young band, the album itself, is fairly young sounding – that is not a negative comment though – as the younger generation is mostly where the market is. Old Dominion do offer us something a little different with having one lead vocalist, whilst this is the case for most bands in other genres, a lot of the commercially successful Country groups at the moment are more vocal harmony groups (with the exception of Zac Brown Band.) Old Dominion could easily fall into the mainstream charts, if only Non Country Radio would give them half the chance.

I strongly recommend buying the cd or downloading the album as is a great album over all and I can only imagine that this band will blow up Nashville ( Not literally) in the coming months and dominate some of the award nominations.

With just 11 tracks on Meat and Candy, it certainly leaves you wanting more.

Track list

Snapback (Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Brad Tursi)
Half Empty (Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Matt Jenkins)
Wrong Turns (Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Matt Jenkins)
Said Nobody (Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Brad Tursi)
Crazy Beautiful Sexy (Matthew Ramsey/Josh Osborne/Ross Copperman)
Nowhere Fast (Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Matt Jenkins)
Beer Can in a Truck Bed (Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Matt Jenkins)
Break Up with Him (Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Brad Tursi/Geoff Sprung/Whit Sellers)
Song for Another Time (Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rosen/Brad Tursi/Matt Jenkins)
Til’ It’s Over (Matthew Ramsey/Shane McAnally/Jimmy Robbins)
We Got It Right (Matthew Ramsey/Shane McAnally/Ross Copperman)

Meat and Candy by Old Dominion



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