There were an awful lot of country happenings in 2005. Carrie Underwood won the fourth season of American Idol, Kenny Rogers signed massive deal with Capitol records and I think Sugarland did some shit too. But if you aren’t into all that (I certainly couldn’t care less myself), then give these albums a listen:
Maybe it’s just because this was the album that really got me listening to these guys, but Hours is my favorite album of theirs. Their previous material just didn’t keep my attention like this. It’s more melodic, but they experiment a little. They introduce a spoken interlude (“Streetcar”) and slow things down in “History,” which I think is the best song on the album.
This is Jonah Matranga’s strongest work. It’s straightforward pop-rock where you’re getting what you pay for. While it would have benefitted from some down and dirtier production, the first half of the record will stick with you, especially “Drive Away” and “The Greatest Wonder.” The B-side begins to get repetitive though.
Pop-punk at its finest: crunchy guitars, energetic rhythms, sweet melodies and a few piano and synth parts sprinkled in. This is a summer album if I ever heard one, but even in the bitterest winter, if you close your eyes and listen to this gem, it’ll warm you up. Also, if you’re into production, here’s an album to take notes on.
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