I imagine that one of the most exciting things for a young artist is the release of your first physical album. While that may not mean as much in an era when pretty much anyone can release something online – and it actually has a larger reach than anything released in previous decades – it still has to be something special.
For the artist, it is a real watermark moment; this is the moment you officially arrived.
For the listeners, it gives them the opportunity to be ground level fans, and gives them something to brag about if the artist makes it big.
Cale Tyson, the 20-something country artist who released his debut album, Careless Soul, July 14, has released some music prior to this, but I think it is safe to say he’s officially arrived.
His sound is not something that you would expect from someone who’s barely lived a quarter of a century, but it fits perfectly in with the younger generation of country crooners coming up in Nashville the last couple of years – think Sturgill Simpson and more like him.
A couple of songs evoke the rockabilly sound of the ‘50s, while the rest would be right at home coming out of the mouths of singers like George Hill and Merle Haggard, some of Tyson’s major influences whose styles he cites in his work
Cutting his teeth in the emo scene, Tyson has come a long way from the screamo style.
There’s an undercurrent of sadness that permeates most of the songs on the album, which is not particularly surprising, considering how the emotion’s relationship with country music, but it really stands out on tracks like “Pain in my Heart” or on “Travelling Man.”
“Well it hurts like hell/But you know it’s the truth/Some of us folks are just luckier than you/But you’re dying, to keep trying,” goes the chorus on that one, and its sentiments will hit home with anyone that’s ever felt like they just can’t seem to catch a break.
The other standout track is “Somebody Save Me,” a song about a man fighting (and losing) against the temptations a woman other than the one he’s with.
While the lyrics are kind of paint-by-numbers, Tyson has a nice voice; he stays in his range for the most part with a pleasant twang that gives his whole vibe a bit of credibility.
The music isn’t anything amazing, but the addition of horns on a couple of songs is a nice switch from standard country.
I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates country, because it’s a glimpse of the future. For anyone who doesn’t appreciate the genre as much (a camp I find myself falling into less and less), it is worth checking out.
He’s got a bright future, so listening to him now is like watching a rookie pitcher develop. The potential is there, but it’s not quite all the way.