Album Reviews

CMT Nashville Season 5 Soundtrack – Volume One – Review

It’s  no secret that Nashville Season 5 holds a special place in Nashies hearts. It will for the cast and crew too no doubt. With the series originally being cancelled by the network ABC, a campaign amongst Nashies went in full force and we shouted so loudly that CMT heard us and it picked it up and so glad we are that they did, I mean it couldn’t end there right? Those stories had so much more to share, important role models such as Will Lexington , Juliette and Scarlett who raised awareness for some of todays biggest challenges in life and not to mention of course, that cliffhanger.

It’s not just about the stories though, for many of us, especially country music lovers, the show was about the music. The music in the show has always been of such a high standard, the songs were and are being written by some of Nashville and beyonds greatest songwriters, greatest story tellers. For us country fans in particular, we truly celebrate the songwriters of every song and the show does too. The songwriters have become such a big part of the show and not just by gifting their music. Artists such as Striking Matches have built a career out of it, their song When The Right One Comes Along holds the heart of the show as does A Life That Is Good which has almost become the centre of the show and was written by the amazing Ashley Monroe and Sarah Siskind. Both artists mentioned whom have their own versions which are stunningly beautiful.

This season the music is still wonderful but I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the first soundtrack. For me, that soundtrack and season two for that matter left more of an Imprint, the songs, especially for Juliette and Scarlett such as previously mentioned When The Right One Comes Along, Casino, Looking For A Place To Shine, Undermine, Telescope, We Are Water, For Your Glory and Consider Me were more memorable, emotional and alluring.

None of this means the music isn’t still of a high standard though, I personally love the songwriters and their music during every season and this season doesn’t deter from that. This season has songwriters and artists in their own right such as Sean McConnell who released one of my favourite albums last year and one of my all time favourite artists Mindy Smith, now, if you are unfamiliar with either of those artists, please get familiar, in particular with Mindy Smiths album Long Island Shores which changed my life. Both artists songs are on volume 2. This volume however features long time Nashville show songwriter Tim Lauer ,Sarah Siskind and Jake Etheridge to name a few.

Volume one begins with the gospel track God Shall Wipe All Tears Away sung by Rhiannon Giddens who is the lead singer of Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her voice is sensational, natural and is an instrument in itself.

The Stella Sisters – Lennon and Maisy lend their gorgeous vocals and their melodious harmonies to the song Your Best. I have always been more of a fan of Maisy’s voice, she has a true talent and honest tone and I really feel she has a hugely successful career ahead of her. For someone so young, she has a voice that outshines most of today’s artists and she will only grow.

All Of Me transports us back to those passionate duets that we love so much from Gunnar and Scarlett. Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio fit perfectly together vocally and live, their voices are even more flawless. All Of Me is during quite an emotionally aggressive scene, well the filming of the video is and it is a real identity buster for Scarlett. This is also a song they record during a difficult time in their relationship…wait…that’s pretty much their entire relationship, difficult and complicated, imagine their forever changing facebook relationship status’ ha!

Fan favourite Charles Esten as Deacon performs Simple As That. Deacon always had a more traditional sound to his music blended with a slight rock style and this song stays true to that. Deacons music is always very passionate and emotionally driven and always written about….Rayna of course! Charles aka Chip has a great rough tone to his voice and he really does deliver his acting skills within his music and makes us believe every word he sings, I guess that is one of the reasons that he is such a popular character.

Newcomer character Clayton Conner played by Joseph David – Jones who plays street musician and love interest to Maddie is a welcome addition to the series and brings something different to the show. Clayton brings the Blues/Rock/Jazz/Bluegrass sound to the show. A complex character, Clayton is showcased as an unsigned but true to his roots musician. He has a wonderful and soulful voice and is an asset to the show. A Few Steps My Way is a wonderful introduction to Clayton and his voice and is a fantastic song with energy and soul.

Another much loved duo on the show comes from Connie Britton and Charles Esten. Those who are up to date with the series probably can’t listen to this without being tearful. The song titled My Favourite Hurricane is hauntingly emotive. Connie and Chip play their roles so well that you truly believe the love between Rayna and Deacon.

One of the most important characters on the show is Will Lexington who faces real life struggles which really shouldn’t be a struggle. Chris Carmack a talented musician in his own right and a multi instrumentalist, Chris brings so much beauty and heart to the show in the form of his loveable character. Burn to Dark is one of the most beautiful songs Chris has performed on the show. This gorgeous and somber song full of regret and sorrow has an incredibly emotive melody which really pull at the heartstrings.

On My Way is a duet for Juliette and Avery which we don’t see enough of. I love Hayden’s voice and love the character of Juliette as she is so misunderstood, been through hell and won’t take any crap. Avery, being the most redeemed character has become my favourite and Jonathan Jackson has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. If you ever get the opportunity to see him live then it is a must. This song is a stunning piano driven track with a powerful indication of passion and true love.

Won’t Back Down – A solo for Jonathan Jackson and back to Avery’s rock roots. Jonathan can pull off any song but as frontman of rock band Enation this song really suits him. It has a nice anthemic rock vibe with a chanting, activist theme.

The soundtrack ends on a family note, which is the warming, comforting part of the show. Charles Esten, Lennon and Maisy deliver a steller (no pun intended) chilling performance in this song titled Sanctuary. The song makes the hairs on your arm stand up. Again, so much belief in this unit, you want them to be happy, you invest in them as a family. This song is soulfully heartbreaking.

Overall, another fantastic soundtrack that truly raises the bar across all soundtracks. The Nashville producers know what they are doing and the fact the music is on the Big Machine Label shows that the soundtrack was never going to be less than brilliant.

The Music of Nashville Original Soundtrack Season 5, Volume 1 by Nashville Cast

1. “God Shall Wipe All Tears Away” – Rhiannon Giddens
Arrangement by: Tim Lauer
2. “Your Best” – Lennon & Maisy
Written by: Claire Guerreso
3. “All Of Me” – Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio
Written by: Phillip LaRue, Tim Lauer, Lindy Robbins
4. “Simple As That” – Charles Esten
Written by: Kalisa Ewing, James LeBlanc, Brad Tursi
5. “A Few Steps My Way” – Joseph David-Jones
Written by: Gareth Dunlop
6. “My Favorite Hurricane” – Connie Britton & Charles Esten
Written by: Jillian Edwards, Jake Etheridge
7. “Burn To Dark” – Chris Carmack
Written by: Jake Etheridge, Garrison Starr
8. “On My Way” – Hayden Panettiere with Jonathan Jackson
Written by: Paige Blue, Thomas Finchum, Chance Peña
9. “Won’t Back Down” – Jonathan Jackson
Written by: Trent Dabbs, Matt Dragstrem
10. “Sanctuary” – Charles Esten, Lennon & Maisy
Written by: Jill Andrews, Gary Nicholson, Sarah Siskind


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