Old Dominion – Happy Endings (2017) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Old Dominion – Happy Endings (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 38:48 minutes | 820 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © RCA Records Label Nashville

Happy Endings is the second album from acclaimed country rockers, Old Dominion. Proving that they are not your average band, Old Dominion blends country charm, lyrical wit and rock n’ roll grit into radio-friendly, hook-heavy pop nuggets. The band has emerged as one of the hottest breaking bands in country music, fusing clever lyrics and an infectious sound. Once again, Old Dominion have tapped Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Shane McAnally to produce. McAnally also oversaw production duties on the band’s first outing, the US gold-certified, Meat and Candy (which spawned their platinum track “Break Up With Him,” gold hit “Snapback,” and single “Song For Another Time,” which hit No. 1 on US Country Radio charts). Ever true to their craft, Old Dominion appear as the primary songwriters on all of the tracks on Happy Endings.

Old Dominion occupy a distinct position in 2017’s Nashville, happily playing to the center when their peers are either gunning for outlaw cred or angling for a stylish R&B-country fusion. With Happy Endings — the group’s second album, following their 2015 debut Meat and Candy by two years — Old Dominion emphasize their light touch with the melodic mainstream, crafting an album so tuneful and supple it feels designed to slide onto adult-oriented playlists anywhere from the glory days of Urban Cowboy to the present day. Thanks to producer Shane McAnally, the album firmly belongs in the latter camp — it has a pleasant digital sheen, filled with little percolating details — but the songcraft of this writing collective is so strong, it’s not hard to imagine the individual tunes appearing at other points in Music City history. For instance, if the breezy “Shoe Shopping” had an analog makeover, it could be played on country-pop radio at the dawn of the ’80s and “New York at Night” is majestic enough to suggest sky-scraping adult contemporary anthems of the ’90s. Old Dominion cleverly thread modern themes — not to mention the occasional targeted profanity — into their songs, so their tales of heartache and love feel fresh and also specific. Images of text bubbles, ruined jeans, and a forgotten hotel give the songs a contemporary feel that nicely complements the classicist construction. Since Happy Endings flows so easily, it may be easy to glide along with its slick surfaces, but a close listen reveals not only the sturdiness of the songs but the cleverness of the production — and, if anybody is still doubting the smarts behind Old Dominion and McAnally, they close the proceedings with a live cut called “Can’t Get You.” Loud and bold, “Can’t Get You” proves Old Dominion can do more than mellow pop, but the rest of Happy Endings is so irresistibly smooth, it’s no wonder the group decided to emphasize their soft side here. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01. No Such Thing as a Broken Heart
02. Shoe Shopping
03. Not Everything’s About You
04. Hotel Key
05. Be with Me
06. Written in the Sand
07. So You Go
08. Stars in the City
09. New York at Night
10. A Girl Is a Gun
11. Still Writing Songs About You
12. Can’t Get You (Live)

Matthew Ramsey, vocals, guitar
Brad Tursi, guitar
Trevor Rosen, guitar, vocals
Geoff Sprung, bass
Whit Sellers, drums