Randy Houser’s New Album How Country Feels Well Worth the Wait!
With the first few guitar strums and drum beats of “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight“, the first track on Randy Houser‘s new album How Country Feels, country fans are sure to be hooked. This first song has more of a pop edge than I expected from Houser, but its feel good, live in the moment lyrics immediately made me feel warm and happy (despite the cold January chill right outside my window!). From that first song, the record just gets better and better as it balances between a variety of sounds, themes and rhythms.
Upbeat and Living In The Moment.
Tracks like “Growin’ Younger,” “Top Of The World” “Absolutely Nothing,” “Goodnight Kiss,” and “Let’s Not Let It” keep things on the livelier side going back and forth between pop-ish (“Goodnight“) and more rock-ish (“Growin“). Lyrically, these songs encourage focusing on the important things in life and living in the moment in that way only a country song seems to be able to do. Anyone of these songs would be perfect for a Friday night bonfire or a lazy afternoon, and country fans are sure to have them playing on repeat.
Slow and Bittersweet.
On the other hand, Houser, slows things down and strikes a bittersweet note with the lovesick tune “The Singer“, almost ballad-esque tracks like “Power of A Song,” and “Like A Cowboy,” and the gospel tinged “Along For The Ride.” The music and lyrics of these tracks add an extra dimension to the album when placed along the faster songs, and proves that Randy Houser is capable of offering fans more than just one brand of country.
Southern Rock Vibe.
This album also embodies a broad spectrum of a southern rock vibe that is distinctly heard in three of the songs, title track “How Country Feels, “Shine” and “Sunshine On The Line.” If you were to put these three songs on that southern rock spectrum “How Country Feels” is at the least intense end with more pop-country mixed in with the electric guitar. “Sunshine On The Line” rests at the opposite end of that spectrum bordering on an almost hard rock sound opening with an intense guitar riff and raw vocals from Houser. “Shine” features a blue collar storyline, noticeable keyboards and more electric guitar than you hear from the average mainstream country tune. It’s not quite as intense as “Sunshine” and lacks any of the radio pop friendly elements in the title track, so it rests in the middle of the spectrum. Altogether, this southern rock vibe just adds yet another layer to Randy’s already complex sound heard throughout the album.
A Heck of a Duet.
One of the best moments on this album, though, is the powerful duet between Houser and CMNB favorite Kristy Lee Cook on “Wherever Love Goes“! Houser’s and Cook’s voices blend perfectly and compliment each other wonderfully. One thing I really appreciate is the mellow production on this song, the music is toned down for a majority of the song, excluding the three quarters crescendo, and this really lets Randy and Kristy’s voices and talent stay as the focus of the tune. With this song, these two could give Brad and Carrie a run for their money.
Houser’s new release, How Country Feels, proves to be a complex compilation of tracks that balance between upbeat, pop-ish, calm, southern rock-ish, and ballad-esque and demonstrating that this country star has a unique brand of country to offer fans with this new project. Short story? This album was more than worth the two year wait, and we’ll listening to and enjoying this one for a long time to come.
“How Country Feels” Track Listing
1. Runnin’ Outta Moonlight 3:14
2. Growin’ Younger 4:53
3. Top Of The World 3:17
4. The Singer 4:20
5. Power Of A Song 3:41
6. Absolutely Nothing 3:02
7. Wherever Love Goes (with Kristy lee Cook) 4:16
8. Like A Cowboy 4:21
9. How Country Feels 3:05
10. Along For The Ride 3:34
11. Sunshine On the Line 3:20
12. Goodnight Kiss 3:27
13. Let’s Not Let It 3:09
14. Shine 4:56
15. Route 3 Box 250 D 3:52