Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Brent Daniels - Every Road Has a Turn

Brent Daniels - Every Road Has a Turn

Produced by the respected Robyn Robins, former member of Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band, the debut album from Brent Daniels poises this singer and guitarist for big things. The twelve songs on Every Road Has a Turn mix boisterous country-infused rockers with serious, more traditionally minded country tracks with catchy choruses. Daniels’ voice combined with the overall quality of the tunes is a winner in a crowded genre and the few lulls heard during the album are far more matters of taste than any quantifiable flaw. Robins’ production has every bit of the oomph and sparkle listeners will expect and clearly positions Daniels’ voice as the heart of each performance. Every Road Has a Turn feels like a concerted effort to launch Daniels’ career off with a major push and his vocal and interpretative talents deserve such treatment. 

“My First Friday Night” leaves no doubt that Daniels and the team behind him means business. This is as well crafted of a country song as you are likely to hear these days, grounded in universal details of human lives, and carries on the songwriting traditions of classic country music in a thoroughly modern context. The lyrics are sung by a vocalist, likewise, who draws strength, unintended or otherwise, from the genre’s long tradition while having an identifiable stamp of his own to leave on the songs. He’s got a virtually guaranteed hit with the big radio number “My Truck’s Bigger Than Your Truck”. We’ll leave the double meanings of such things for the psychologists to sort out and it isn’t a song that requires a lot of nuance from a very capable singer, but the song is certainly dumb fun that doesn’t demand anything from listeners except having a good time. Despite the “country” subject matter, the song is much close to outright rock than anything else on this debut.

“Love You Down” has a nice mid tempo pace applying just the right amount of force to the performance and it picks up nicely at the chorus. Another enormously appealing part of the performance is the cool confidence Daniels shows with a good emotional shade added for extra measure. He hits a particularly excellent note with the song “Everything About You”, one of the more rhythmic musical tracks on Every Road Has a Turn, and modulates his voice appropriate to help realize the song’s potential. The bluster and brass in earlier songs like “My Truck’s Bigger than Your Truck” completely vanishes on tracks like “Hold On”. Some might hear a certain amount of predictability or imitation in songs like “Hold On”, but listen closely and you’ll hear the differences between Daniels and many of his peers. Great singers bring a certain amount of charisma to their performance that shapes the color and delivery of individual lines. You hear that in the naked vulnerability of Daniels’ phrasing on this song. It’s just as present in the song “Different Just the Same” and Daniels benefits even more there from some of the album’s best lyrics. Every Road Has a Turn’s concluding number “I’ve Been Gone” recalls the classic country songwriting turns of earlier songs like the opener and brings the album to an end with the same confidence defining it. This is one hell of a first effort from Daniels and he’ll be able to build from this work for some time to come.

9 out of 10 stars 

Joshua Stryde

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