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Album Review: “Easy Does It” by Jake Owen

February 18, 2009

Easy Does It cover3.5 Stars

 

Jake Owen hit radio a couple years ago and looked as if he could be one of the brightest new stars of the age. It took a little while, but the golfer turned country singer finally managed to release his sophomore album to store shelves to try and build off of his earlier success. In doing so, Easy Does It turns out to be a decent mix of generally likable material that is a definite improvement on his first collection of song.

Re-charged and ready to move forward, Owen’s sophomore album brings together ten solid tracks that showcase some of the best qualities in his voice without being overpowered or overshadowed by his attempts to break into the hearts of his audience, unlike his first album. With more confidence and a much more natural feel about him, Owen approaches every track with perfection and spot on performance quality, vocals, and even general production that would have made for a four star or five star release. However, it takes more than entertainment and good vocals to create a great project from a good one and that is where Owen falters on his sophomore release.

The album starts off nicely, bringing in the hard thumping “Tell Me” and re-done “Eight Second Ride”, originally on his first album, to really get the listener right into the project loaded with high power guitar slinging that grabs the listener from the first chord. For the most part this upbeat feeling is re-used throughout the project to keep the mood up and shift away from some of the more overpowering ballads that would have been reminiscent to the album’s first single “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You”, probably not the best choice for a first offering this album’s songlist has. Some songs touch on more delicate matters, but even they manage to keep the mood light and upbeat. The title track, “Easy Does It”, is another romantic tune, but sticks to a more mid-tempo sound as it approaches taking one step at a time in love. Even the album’s bar patron song “Who Said Whisky” turns out to be a respectable, if somewhat cliche tune.

The project has some grey spots though when it comes to the songs.The easy going “Green Bananas” opens with a dry start that takes the listener by surprise, maybe a little to well, and continues on to refer to living life without a care, inspired by the main character’s dying cancer victim buddy, which ends up coming of as a little to over the top. On that note “Anything But You” also sounds awkward and dull compared to everything else. Despite these few minor songs however, the album is loaded with radio-friendly tunes like “Every Reason To Stay” or “Nothin’ Grows In Shadows” that keep it stable as a legitimate project. What these tracks fail to do is really make Jake stand out. There are very few factors that help Jake shine as a person and an artist and although the songs and his voice aregreat, there’s really not much here to help him solidify his own image among the greats. This album helps solidify him among the best of the bar singers and start-up acts, but doesn’t really help him vault much higher than he already was.

As good as this album is, it’s not great. It takes a little more than a loaded project of ten radio worthy and entertaining hits to make a five-star album. As much as they stand out on there own as songs, many of them fail to really show off Jake as a person and an artist in his own spotlight or show any quality of him that any other artist could not offer as well with these same song. All this aside though, Jake is on the right track with this one. He’s improved since his first album, a big plus in my book, and he approached it with more confidence, enjoyment, and overall perfection as an singer that it is definitely worth checking out. His major issue right now is taking this perfection and applying it well enough where the album and it’s tracks are all his from start to finish.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Blake Boldt permalink
    February 19, 2009 8:05 pm

    Are you familiar with Wade Hayes’ work? Owen kinda reminds me of him—shaggy, shoulder-length dark hair and deep baritones, but their albums are full of radio-friendly songs that aren’t too deep and don’t tell us who they really are. Thanks for the review—I haven’t listened to it yet but I mean to.

  2. Leeann Ward permalink
    February 20, 2009 3:41 am

    Owens and Hayes also have another thing in common, good voices that don’t sing songs that are equal in quality, though I’d probably take Wade’s songs over Jake’s at this point.

  3. February 20, 2009 4:05 am

    I actually have heard of Wade and have listened to a bit of his music. I can see where you can relate him to Jake here though Blake. Great voice, lacking his own personal image from his works.

  4. March 4, 2009 12:48 pm

    While I am sure Jake’s album will be full of radio friendly songs, as his first song is climbing the charts, Jake is a must to see LIVE!! We saw him open for Little Big Town and WOW!! He was a great entertainer as well as a singer and made big fans out of us!! Check him out this summer on tour, you will NOT be disappointed!!!

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