Jonathan Terrell Album Review

Westward

Jonathan Terrell Album Review

Projecting the sensitive cowboy lover – broken, but hopeful – Jonathan Terrell excels at inward-facing, image-driven prose delivered in smoky rasp. "I watch you work the room/ Inch my toes up toward the air," he sings in Westward's prom rock entry "Good Again" about fixing oneself by repairing a shattered relationship. Amid an emotional deluge in "Raining in Dallas Tonight," the singer/guitarist paints a teary picture: "Staring at the underpass through the chainlink/ Nobody ever seems to know what you're thinking/ The rain pours down from a crumbling sky/ Keep standing in the weather so nobody sees you cry." The cut commences in a squalling refrain where his scratchy pipes bear reminiscence to Ben Nichols, Brian Fallon, and Ryan Bingham. The ginger's strongest tunes since Not in the Face's strutting breakout Bikini attain a subtle, stabilized synthesis of country, rock, singer-songwriter folk, and pop, on which effect pedals, keyboards, and pedal steel pour sonic sauce over dreadnaught sustenance. A two-steppable "Cowboy Band" and rounder-of-hearts narrative "Lemon Cigarettes" spin "our song" potential for cowboy-hatted lovers, but tail-wagging barroom burner "These Days" reminds us that Jonathan Terrell's a rock star in waiting.

****


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