Album: If I Ever Get Away
Artist: Tracy Walton
Label: Levon Wilson Records
If I Ever Get Away, released on the 14th of May on Levon Wilson Records exudes personality and depth; a product of Tracy Walton’s multiple musical influences. The 36 minute long album has been described as “Americana” with its country-folk-rock influences. It rings of unabashed openness and succinctness in songs such as Walls, Songs For You and Home Soon which sometimes rise above the music itself with lyrics like, “Everybody needs a rock that doesn’t roll/So come on home” (Home Soon).
The album features Richard Hinman on guitar and pedal steel while the songwriting, vocal and acoustic and bass guitar credits go to Walton!
|Songs For You|
|Let Me Take You Home|
|If I Ever Get Away|
|Beer Is Now Cheaper Than Gas|
|Life Goes On|
|Think You Do|
Walls gives off a country vibe which Walton’s deep but lilting voice is especially suited for. It’s straight forward, homey and the lyrics are surprisingly sweet! I loved the parallel between walls and the relationship. It all comes together in the chorus which is gentle, simple and yet bound to leave you swooning!
2. Songs For You
A song on feelings that never fade. I loved the understated but pretty melody that fully captured the thoughtfulness, hyper awareness, wistfulness and twinge of sadness that is attached to a relationship that probably ended before its time. I liked this song but for me it did not match up to Walls. While Walton sings the part of the chorus that goes “So I’ll sing, I’ll sing, I’ll sing/Songs for you” I felt the last line (“Songs for you”) didn’t sit quite as well.
On the other hand the line “And with each line, I grow close to you, I fall far behind.” is an absolute winner!
3. Sunny Days
This song picks up in terms of pace with the gentle strumming! It’s cheery and a little corny at the same time! There’s a lot of heart in the lyrics; a certain rawness underneath the upbeatness which the vocals capture.
A slow duet! Walton’s vocals alternate with that of a female singer, both of which are individually brilliant. They come together in a harmony and sound fantastically genuine and fabulous together. However, some of the underlying themes of the song (you-and-me, us-against-the-world, we’ll-be-all-right) get repetitive at this juncture and start to wear you down.
5. Let Me Take You Home
A big bad rock song that comes out of nowhere! With a brilliant guitar finish, this song stands out from the rest of the tracks from start till end! Walton’s vocals are more rugged and less lucid here which goes well with the track.
6. If I Ever Get Away
The title track is slow and wistful and once again breaks free from the country mold. It’s a simple but magical melody that tells a story that feels real. The narrative is poetic and very visual. One of my favourite tracks of the album!
7. Beer Is Now Cheaper Than Gas
A fun potential bar song that proclaims, “Beers now cheaper than gas!” Takes a dig at the economy and brings smiles along the way with lyrics like, “You can take my car/I can walk to the pub/My house is underwater and I don’t need your love.”
8. Life Goes On
This song tells a story that takes over a generation to reap fruit but well, life goes on! The acoustics soften the vocals and blend well with the message. A noteworthy track!
9. Think You Do
The pause mid- chorus before the restarting of the melody is startling but adds to the intensity of the song! The lyrics are fresh and honest. Like many of the tracks, it reeks of raw honesty.
10. Home Soon
We’re back to what feels like the core sound of the album! Feels like a song that’s dated but that only adds to its charm. While it’s not a stand-out, it’s pleasant to listen to!
Final thoughts: If I Ever Get Away works because of the simplicity and straightforwardness of the lyrics that when paired with acoustics and/ simple melodies, lingers on beyond its airtime! My favourite songs in this album stood out because of the strong and somewhat reckless honesty in the lyrics which Walton’s clear and deep vocals are particularly suited for. In the tracks where Walton experiments with other genres while still keeping to the album’s core sound, he pulls it off admirably!
Album verdict: Walton bears his soul in this lyrically strong and balanced effort!
Picks of the album: Walls, If I Ever Get Away, Life Goes On, Songs For You