SEARCH BY :      

FIFTH HORSEMAN  11/16/2014          
Wade Bowen
Album Review
SUN SHINES ON THIS DREAMER October 28, 2014 'If We Ever Make It Home' will remain Wade's true masterpiece forever and a day. Wade Bowen, I salute you for making the best album I've ever heard, way back in 2008. Nothing will ever surpass it. This is what authentic music should sound like. This is what authentic music should FEEL like. Heartfelt, warm, like coming home to the one you love. A love that just is, without a doubt. True love, real love, a love that's here to stay. Well, listening to his newest creation for the very first time on a dark day in October is like coming home all over again... Different year, but that very same warm love that started way back when, is still there. Same warmth, same closeness, same authenticity. 'Sun Shines On A Dreamer' is already music to these ears, a classic, after merely three spins. And then it's time to head for 'My California', and what a nice trip it is... Sundrenched, mellow, laidback, words fail me, but they don't fail Wade. 'Watch Her Drive' sounds like kinda 'inbetween' at first, but the beautifully layered harmonic chorus lifts it straight out of the ordinary and Wade's magic goes & does it again. Watch Him Drive ! 'Hungover' tastes like it a genuine sequel track that would fit right in on that dream of an album 'If We Ever Make It Home'. First few seconds take me by surprise: Wade's voice in its purest, most naked form. Husky sadness begging for a wonderful melody, tugging the strings of a heart that beats in anticipation... Melancholic electric guitar sheds a tear that slowly glistens in the moonlight, an empty bottle lies still as the moonshine sits silently in the background, casting tree branch shadows over a puddle of distant memories. So heartfelt, and yet another favorite of mine already. Wow. Not even halfway through this album and I feel I've died and gone to heaven, one way ticket, already. Life is sad, yet oh so beautiful... "I've been a drunk, I've been a dreamer..." and I'm swept off my feet yet again by the wonderful 'West Texas Rain'. Harmonies merge as the sky pours out its little heart. Vince Gill, Sean McConnell (harmonies), Audley Freed (The Black Crowes, guitar) and Fred Eltringham (Wallflowers, drums) all lend a hand. "I've been a lover, I've been a father..." "...choices that I'd like to change..." Don't you change anything about yourself, Wade. You're good to go, just keep on going. Wade Bowen is truly a huge experience in my life, and it feels like I've known him for a lifetime already. His music feels so good, and if I truly had to pick one artist amongst a cast of thousands, there would be no doubt. This is the artist that has made it big time into my world. A world of dreams, a world of emotions, a world of appreciation for the small things in life, the happiness that nature gives you when it engulfs you with its soothing rustle, come rain or shine. 'When It's Reckless' sounds like the single that kicks off this album, but then at tripled speed. Just keep on hitting that good ol' road and watch that Wade go. Nice slice of electric guitar carves that dried up asphalt right open. "Girl I got to have you now... set me on fire!" A little rough around the edges, indeed. Time to hit those brakes and chill to those nice rhytmic acoustic sun beaten strums... gathering swirling dust crumbs scattered by that previous tune that pulled every punch there was to pull, only to settle down gently upon that smooth and grainy voice timbre that is so uniquely Wade. 'Long Enough To Be A Memory'... and then some. 'Sweet Leona' tiptoes through the back door, as a passionate harmonica sweeps up those stairs, covering the steps with rose petals that gently pulsate to the rhythm of love's embedded heartbeat... No red carpets necessary, a mere 'Welcome Mat' will suffice. Wipe your feet, buckle up: more wonderful music on its way, folks. Roaring Americana style electric guitar moves to the fore, as the song breaks down only to leave this listener yearning for... more. "Miles & miles of this ol' van, things don't always go the way we plan..." Isn't that a fact, Wade! Randy Rogers, Cody Canada, and Sean McConnell (who co-wrote two songs on the 2008 'If We Ever Make It Home' album) join in on this road trip towards freedom. 'Honky Tonk Road' (originally written by Nashville producer slash studio musician Ray Stevenson) sounds like four buddies having a whale of a time, outlaw style. "Where the lights are hot but the beer is cold..." Last call, folks! Yes, Wade Bowen has finally freed himself from the shackles of commitments, breaks the restraints of ability and courage... Just watch that 'Yankee' yank his chains to shreds! This is Wade at his very best: no holds barred, return to innocence, soul/sole resurrection or to put it more simply, reset mode. No more fitting exit than 'I'm Gonna Go' (a old track written by Wade a couple of years back). Sturdy drums set the tone for a spectacular exit, and we're not talking fire escape, here. Six minutes of perseverance and one of two longest Wade tracks to date, only beaten by twenty seconds on 'Watch Her Drive'... 'I'm Gonna Go' also reveils a darker, more threatening Wade, like we've never heard before. Lowering his guard with much promise to a brandnew future, and a fitting end to a more than exciting eponymous adventure. Experimental cover artwork, bordering on both mysterious and minimalist design: a clear break with the past but in keeping with authentic tradition and timeless quality. In these throwaway times, marked by cramped styles and overblown hypes created by music media moguls spending money like it's going out of fashion, Wade Bowen proves to be a big exception to the rule. A unique, heartfelt artist maintaining his very own personality and strength throughout. If 'If We Ever Make It Home' ever were to get knocked off its pedestal, this album could very possibly be the one to do so. Until then, it's the best versatile hi-octane piece of contemporary country music I've heard in a pretty long time. Welcome back, Wade.

LSM Gets Social