Keep It Together
What has happened to county and western music? Some bands still sound like Glen Campbell circa 1966, other aim for the Y2k Randy Travis sound, and then you have these young whippersnappers, all emoed out with their head in the clouds and there feet in a Brooklyn hipster bar where the beer is unpronounceable, the women all have blogs, and no one can afford a pickup truck because parking is so tight. That’s where The CO originates, at least spiritually. Without some guidance form their publicist, I place these guys in the melodic pop sound, maybe with a minor in folk music or emo.
There’s a slather of introspection in this extensive 15 track project, “Crazy” is a gut wrenching love song about a lost lover, it’s just a piano and lead singer Collin Brace and a lost feeling that anyone can identify. On “Frequency” we start with an urgent synth line straight from the skinny ties days of new wave, then slide up to a more modern arrangement that still holds lost love as the motivation, but the music is fast and if you tune out a bit you’d not even notice the sadness. “I will Be Strong” might tie up a wedding, he’ll be strong and catch her, be there forever on solid ground, and swear his heart to her. But somehow, I sense just the slightest hint of doubt in his voice, like he knows things will go wrong long before the ground has even solidified. And that’s how I like it: music is at its best when it looks happy until you focus the microscope and get blinded by the tears.