Russell Dickerson continues to build on his huge momentum with an impressive new self-titled third album.
Having been slightly on the fence with Russell Dickerson songs prior to C2C, Georgie Thorogood was impressed by the sheer energy emanating from his live set. Now running through his self-titled new album (released November 4th), the question is whether the recorded music has the same effect (she’s a tough crowd!)!
A 15 song selection on an album often means there are at least a couple which don’t quite carry the same weight as the main body, whether they are added in to help the flow of the album, or whether it’s just personal preference, who knows. Luckily, the opening track of this album is not one of those! Blame It On Being Young is a nostalgic ballad, bringing small-town vibes to the start of the set list. It’s a true country song and is all the better for not being a predictable pop tune.
Ramping up in true RD style the next track, Sorry, ramps up the energy but the addition of the strings in the well-thought out production tether it to the country genre. It’s not much of a progression from his previous records, but it will be a crowd pleaser. The third track She Likes It (with Jake Scott) will be a turn-off for many ‘traditional’ country fans, with a strong RnB vibe running through the track. That said, it’s RD’s fastest rising song of his career so far, with an ongoing progression up the Billboard charts. I Still Believe is back to a more country sound again and is RD doing what he does best, another hometown throwback, much like Big Wheels.
I Remember has a distinct Thomas Rhett feel to it, but it’s a good song and has wracked up huge numbers of streams since its release in August this year. Current single I Wonder is the first song since Blame It On Being Young which creates any particular interest. God Gave Me A Girl has the hallmarks of a massive hit. Its warmth wraps around the listener like a comfort blanket, giving off the feeling that you’ve heard it before.
All The Same Friends is a really fun track. With a slight 90s tone throughout the verses, it’s a surefire summer favourite. More sunshine sounds with Beers To The Summer bringing a sense of friendship and nostalgia and might give RD a slight breather during a live set – it’s still a crowd pleaser, but not such a dance anthem as some of his current hits.
A really interesting intro comes with She’s Why. A heavier synth and more prominent electric guitar melt into this R n B infused track. 18 continues with a more interesting use of instrumentation and pace in the opening bars and it is really welcome. Very much a pop tune, it is sensitively produced and isn’t too forceful. Illsey Juber, one of the co-writers on this track has experienced huge success with the likes of Mark Ronson, so a poppier tone was perhaps to be expected.
Over and Over is an absolute favourite, and having reached track 13 I can reflect that the album has become progressively more enjoyable! A fairly short song at only 2mins 20 seconds, its been produced to showcase RD’s vocals, which are sometimes overlooked due to the force of his performance. At the other end of the scale, Drink To This comes in at a little over 5 minutes, but retains the gentler sound of Over And Over. Having teamed up with Parker Welling again (co-writer on Yours, Love You Like I Used To, Blue Tacoma amongst others), it would be no surprise to see one of these two tracks hitting the top spots as a single.
Just Like Your Mama is 100% love song, rounding off the album with a soft goodbye. The steadier pace and crying synth and instrumentals are a perfect conclusion to a really enjoyable album which got better as it went along, and the tapes of his son’s voice at the end are a surefire way to leave the listener with a smile in their heart.
Whilst this author isn’t such a massive fan of the generic pop songs which RD performs so well live, they have contributed to his continued success and all in all, this album feels very authentic to who he is – a larger than life character with energy, enthusiasm, joie de vivre and fun, as well as a talented musician with great songwriting and vocal abilities. Having been impressed with the progression and journey of the sound throughout the album, it rates pretty high.
Russell Dickerson – Track Listing
1. Blame It On Being Young
2. Sorry – Russell Dickerson
3. She Likes It (Feat. Jake Scott)
4. I Still Believe
5. Big Wheels
6. I Remember
7. I Wonder
8. God Gave Me A Girl
9. All The Same Friends
10. Beers To The Summer
11. She’s Why
13. Over And Over
14. Drink To This
15. Just Like Your Mama