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Album Spotlight: Old Dominion, ‘Happy Endings’

RCA Nashville

Happy Endings shows a different side of Old Dominion‘s artistry. The 12 songs are as a whole deeper and more patient than those found on their debut album.

Shoe Shopping” is one that recalls the wry wit fans fell in love with on Meat and Candy. The laid-back, cheeky lyrics are reminiscent of the group’s breakthough hit “Break Up With Him.” After that it’s poetry (“Written in Sand“), true love songs (“Stars in the City”) and boozy regret (“A Girl Is a Gun”).

Matt Ramsey and his Old Dominion bandmates are at their best when looking forward. Songs about an ex-lover (“Not Everything’s About You”) are prickly instead of a needed statement. “Written in Sand” relies on familiar frustration as well, but here the singer is trying to figure what he and his lover are, instead of trying to get over their past. It’s a more sincere approach found on songs like “Still Writing Songs About You” and “Be With Me.”

Happy Endings is more obviously progressive, meaning that the way songs are arranged is more familiar, with certain sounds and instruments standing out from the production. The group’s harmonies are more present in the mix on most songs, giving a thin coat of polish to a collection that’s just a shade darker than what fans know form Old Dominion thus far.

Key Tracks: “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” “Shoe Shopping,” “Written in Sand,” “New York at Night”

Did You Know: For the first time Brad Tursi takes lead on an Old Dominion song, bringing a new, more anthemic sound to “New York at Night.”

See the Best Albums of 2017 So Far

Next: Win a Trip to See Old Dominion at Billy Bob's in Texas

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