BBR Music/Stoney Creek
More Than One Direction For These Young Country Rockers.
Normally I like a few weeks grace to listen to an album; finding nuances and the like; but occasionally; and most notably from the bigger labels; they sometimes arrive with only 24 hours to spare before release!
Which is exactly what happened here …… so what you are getting are my thoughts after playing this last night while making dinner, then again today over breakfast and once more before bashing away at my keyboard.
I don’t know why, but the powerful acoustic chords that open track #1 No Matter What are real attention grabbers; then the three lead vocalists take turns to attack your senses with a really punchy ‘luuurve song’ aimed at starry eyed teenagers; and woooh ….. the whizzbang drumming and guitar playing, coupled to some heart stopping harmonies will leave even a casual listener dizzy and gasping for breath.
This is exactly the type of song I mean when I say I want to be interested right from the get go.
So; who are King Calaway? To be fair; I’m not really sure.
I have their names, and I know all six members hail from across the USA, Scotland and even Gibraltar yet somehow they all rocked up in Nashville and somehow someone sprinkled stardust on them, and somehow they formed a band.
Before recording this, their debut album they appear to have a huge presence on Social Media and the obligatory streaming sites, and they’ve made plenty of TV and Festival appearances alongside some real heavy hitters; so no need for a cold Tuesday night at Cluny II for these kids.
Enough of the history lesson ….. onto the music.
Next out of the traps, More Than I Do, then the title track Rivers you get a pair of monster multi-layered Country Rockers, designed to touch the hardest of hearts and promises to be a couple of tour de forces when played live!
It’s quickly apparent that I’m not the target audience; but then again ….. when am I? King Callaway’s songs are rich in texture and distinctly aimed at pubescent and hormonal girls and young women; and history shows that there ain’t nothing wrong with that format.
There’s some really clever programming at play here too, with the all out electrified Pop-Country love song Obvious immediatly followed by the tearjerker Missing You.
Someone knows how to toy with a girls emotions.
For me; and indeed Mrs Magpie, this has been an enjoyable romp; but to a teenage girl/young woman this album has all the hallmarks of being a benchmark for all that is to follow in their music loving life.
Songs like the warmly beautiful Grow Old and Picture of The Way You Are will make them hug a pillow so tightly the feathers might burst out as they stare longingly at the King Calaway poster on her bedroom wall; and who knows how she will react to World For Two!
It’s all too easy for grizzled old Rockers to pour scorn on records like this; but I remember the young Mrs Magpie playing her David Cassidy LP’s to death thinking about me (#fact) and that’s where King Calaway fit in to the spectrum. All six members are dashingly good looking, the three singers have distinctive, and slightly different voices and when the harmonies come into play (their exquisite version of Love The One You With is a prime example) even I was suitably impressed.
Selecting a Favourite Song hasn’t been as hard as you’d imagine, as I’ve always been a hopeless romantic first and a music reviewer second; so with no further ado I give you ……… cue drum roll ………. the Country Rocker Deluxe ……. Drivers Seat.
Just like nearly every song here it’s absolutely perfect for radio; especially the daytime variety and trust me; in four years time this song will be a First Dance at thousands of weddings.
With that in mind, I also expect album closer I Did to be a song played as many a bride walks down the aisle too!
It’s an ever changing world in music so if you are over 40 and reading this, don’t be too dismissive …….. think back to your own teenage record collection before you judge King Calaway and/or their adoring fans.
There may not be any banjos or pedal-steels here; but King Calaway are the future of 21st Country Music.
Released 4th October 2019