The Cool Edge of Nu-Country.
This is another album I nearly missed out on if it hadn’t been for my I-Phone ‘random’ button which can be scarily accurate at times judging my ‘mood’.
Bizarrely it was about 5.30 am and I was running late for work because of snow and a frozen windscreen when the punchy Singing At The Stars eased itself out of the car speakers and suddenly the world seemed a much better place and I naturally took my foot off the accelerator.
Which took me back to the beginning for the rest of the journey; the intro to track #1 Born To Love You is interesting; but Classic Modern Country at it’s finest with singer Brandon Lancaster’s croaky voice making him sound like he’s on the verge of tears; which is why we all love a Country Love Song isn’t it?
# A couple of days later I was listening to this song on headphones as Mrs. Magpie sat across the room and I too came close to tears deciphering to the intimate lyrics as I thanked God for helping her pull through from her recent operation.)
This is followed by the rousing Long Live Tonight; a razor-sharp Pop-Country song that will lift the roof off most venues when played live, as the (young) fans bounce up and down fist-bumping the air as they scream out the chorus.
To some degree Lanco and their songs aren’t targeted at Old Folk like me; but the younger generation and boy do they know what their chosen demographic want. In the good ole fashioned Country tradition everything here has a “will she/won’t she” “I love you/You don’t love me” and of course “It’s over” thread to them and in the case of So Long (I Do) and Troublemaker they are just perfect for Drive Time radio everywhere in the world.
If you want ‘deep and meaningful’ songs there’s always Adele but if you want to drink beer and put your arm around someone’s shoulder as you belt out a roaring chorus very little else in 2018 will match We Do, Middle of the Night and the fantastic title track Hallelujah Nights; which wouldn’t surprise me if it got stolen by someone like Keith Urban or Kenny Chesney.
Then, there is my ‘favourite song’……quite an easy choice, but it pains me to choose a song that has already been a massive US Hit, although I’d not heard it before I listened to this album.
Greatest Love Song is one of those timeless Country Love songs that crosses all cultural divides; whip smart lyrics about a love struck bad boy/good girl coupled to some sweet guitar picking, cool banjo and a military tight rhythm section that defies the band’s ages.
How do I best sum up LANCO and Hallelujah Nights? Well, I had to purloin the disc from Mrs. Magpie’s car this morning where it’s replaced Whitney Rose’ Rule 62 in the player and the sleeve sits alongside the latest albums by Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne and classics by Tim and Faith; and that’s not too shabby a place to live; is it?
Released January 19th 2018