If were you lucky enough to get your hands on the Sam Hunt mixtape ‘Between The Pines’ – you’ll find acoustic versions of much of the songs that appear on his debut album Montevallo. Although there’s a lot more production involved in Montevallo the essence of the originals are still there and it makes for a great album.
There’s something innocent, homegrown, fresh and organic about Sam Hunt’s debut, that’ll have y’all fixin for more bout this small town Georgia guy, devilishly handsome with a drawl to make the ladies swoon.
Having just enough hip to hop over the Country line into a terrain all of his own, Sam Hunt is on a quest to stomp out a new path for Country Music. Sprinkling piano keys over heavy drum beats and entwining clever lyrics with his trademark ‘Spinging’ (Ok I made that up but how else do you explain the way he flits effortlessly between Spoken Word and Singing?) check out ‘Take Your Time’ and ‘Break Up In A Small Town’ to see what I mean.
Even though Montevallo sits comfortably on the shelf alongside Faith Hill, you could also see it alongside Justin Timberlake albums – such is the diversity of the music, but it’s the storytelling of the songs that keeps this rooted in Country. With songs penned that go through the motions of meeting a new girl, falling in love, having fun, cheating, being conniving and breaking up – it seems that Sam drew upon his feelings and observations surrounding a relationship, bottled up the essence and released it to the world.
The album strikes off with the ballad ‘Take Your Time’ and this is where we get the first glimpse of Sam’s fine talent in writing lyrics as if they were meant just for you, tugging on the heartstrings of every girl who just wants to take their time in getting to know a potential love interest, “I don’t want to steal your freedom I don’t want to change your mind, I don’t have to make you love me, I just want to take your time…” he sings and repeats this feeling in the piano led ‘Make You Miss Me’.
‘Leave The Night On’ (love the play on words there) and ‘House Party’ are both uplifting and light-hearted tracks about having fun in a relationship and just wanting to spend every moment with that person.
The shift in the music dynamics comes at ‘Break Up In A Small Town’ and ‘Single For The Summer’ the latter of which has a Miguel feel to it. While the powerfully emotive ‘Break Up In A Small Town’ has just enough anger and gritting of teeth to make Marshall Mathers proud!
I love how clever ‘Ex To See’ is with its double meaning and feeling “…you kiss my lips like you mean it but you ain’t that slick…you don’t want me you just want your ex to see, x2c…”
‘Raised On It’ has to be the Summer Country anthem of 2016 with it’s catchy chorus and stomping beats. This song will have you raising a glass to Cedartown, Georgia for giving us such a unique artist.
But for all the fun and frolicks the most grown up song of the album comes in last song ‘Speakers’. With just enough eroticism in the verses, the combination of the bass, drums and Sam’s voice will tantalize the senses as his words culminate “love in the back of the truck with the tailgate down just us and speakers on”
Montevallo is now available to download on itunes **(updated info)
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