I have had this album on non-stop for the last few weeks and I never tire of it. Old Dominion’s debut album Meat and Candy was such a great introduction to the band that I felt they would be hard pressed to top it – admittedly, I even felt at first that whilst Happy Endings is a great album, it hadn’t quite surpassed Meat and Candy. However, now that I know Happy Endings quite well, my mind has been changed and I feel that this album has in fact gone above and beyond the first record.
The moment I first put this album on, my 19 month old son squealed with delight and literally made me dance with him for about ten songs in until I had to pass out on the coach to catch my breath. Old Dominion are such a gift to the country verse – I love everything about them. From moving to Nashville just to pursue a writing career, Matt Ramsey (lead singer) Trevor Rosen (multi- instrumentalist) and Brad Tursi ( lead guitarist) formed Old Dominion alongside Geoff Sprung (bassist) and Whit Sellers (Drummer) and they have become one of country musics most loved bands and most promising acts from the last few years. Produced by the legendary and immensely talented Shane McAnally who is also a co -writer and life long friend of the band, this album has something for everyone.
Happy Endings doesn’t drift too far from their original sound but has moved in a slightly more mature direction which the band were aiming for. The first track No Such Thing As A Broken Heart which was the debut single for this album is by far one of the strongest tracks and gives you a fair idea of what to expect from the rest of the album. This track is so infectious and everything that I love about Old Dominion – it has their stamp all over it. Old Dominion have such a fresh, modern, edgy and distinctive sound and they are a band that happily suit any age and can easily reach an audience way beyond the country genre.
Shoe shopping is another great track with clever play on words. Whilst speaking to lead singer Matt a few weeks ago, he explained he was sat in a shoe shop and noticed all these women trying on these shoes (not in a creepy way) and realised what a great idea for a song it was and I agree. Sitting down with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally the song was born and they created quite the masterpiece with a fun, catchy melody and tongue and cheek, smart lyrics.
Not Everything’s About You starts with killer harmonies and Matt sounds so much like Darius Rucker on this track. This song is a laid back track with an easy going, nice to sing-along to chorus.
Whilst I love every song on this album, my favourite so far has got to be Hotel Key and my son agrees. This song is so bouncy, energetic and fun. The versus are well structured and clever with such an upbeat and exciting chorus. This is the kind of song that you pick up every word to quite quickly, I listen to this in the car and it brightens up my mood in a big way. This addictive track is just so delightful, slick and vibrant.
Written In The Sand is another favourite, it has a chill out vibe with a soothing sound much like music from artists such as Jack Johnson and Donavon Frankenreiter. This is the kind of song I want to listen to sitting out on the front porch on an early evening with a cold drink and friends just relaxing.
Old Dominion team up with Little Big Town for the track Stars In The City. LBT provide the harmonies during the chorus giving it a stronger and more impactful sound.
For me, New York At Night is the track that is most different from the rest of the album. It holds more of a dance-pop style and really reminds me of Maroon 5. This song could easily be remastered to a full dance track and has a lot of potential to have many different versions and to chart well in the mainstream charts.
Can’t Get You is a live track and the last track on the album. This song is again, another favourite and I would love to hear a studio version and even more so want to hear this song live for myself. I love the rock edge to it and the energy behind it. I understand why they put a live version of the track as it is a great drinking song and the audience will go wild during a song like this in a live setting. This song was co-written by Josh Osborne and the late great Andrew Dorff.
Old Dominion are going to take the music industry by storm as have so much to offer in the country and mainstream genre, their ability to produce well crafted country pop music is second to none and they have a lot more talent than most mainstream artists or even highly charted country artists today. Old Dominion have a lot of likability in their vocals, sound and stylings and I am excited to see how well this album does. Happy Endings may well be a contender for album of the year for next years CMA awards, it certainly deserves it.
Happy Endings by Old Dominion