I’m a real big fan of ABC’s TV series Nashville. I love just about every character on the show, now in its second season. But it’s not just the impossibly good-looking cast, or the backstabbing and other soapy deliciousness of the story that has kept me tuning in since October of 2012, oh no. It is the music. The songs are OUT OF THIS WORLD!!
The fact that EVERY single cast member does his or her own singing is not lost on me, because it’s hard enough to master singing OR acting, let alone both. Mainstays Claire Bowen, Sam Palladio, Hayden Panettiere, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, and last but not least, Connie Britton manage to do so and make it look easy.
So with that in mind I thought we’d have a look-see at The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 1, the third album in the set so far, and featuring some Nashville Newcomers. This city is home to some of the world’s finest songwriters, and their talents are also on full display in just about every episode. Opener “What If I Was Willing” by Chris Carmack is already a thousand times better than half the watered-down crap passing itself on country radio in 2013, as are any of the songs by Palladio and Bowen, whose voices blend seamlessly across all three discs, particularly on “Why Can’t I Say Goodnight”. THESE are what country duets are supposed to sound like, not that generic, vanilla Lady Antebellum crap. If there is in fact a Heaven, then I imagine these two singing would be on repeat.
And of course, who can forget the two Stella sisters, Lennon and Maisy, who also have the voices of angels, showcased here on “A Life That’s Good” and “Share With You”. I could listen to these ladies all night long. Speaking of outstanding voices, show newcomer Chaley Rose doing an a cappella “Wayfaring Stranger” WILL give you chills, and even troublesome little minx Aubrey Peeples delivers a feel good song in “Tell Me”.
One of this volume’s blow-me-away highlights is the piano-driven “How You Learn to Live Alone” from Jackson. I hated his character in Season One, but his turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous, and they’ve really given him a chance to shine on this one. And when he teams up with Palladio on “Be My Girl” I swear your toes’ll be tappin’ and you’ll be asking the prettiest girl in sight for a dance. The way these two sound together, you’d swear they’ve been singing partners for years.
Of course, we can’t talk Nashville without mentioning Ms. Panettiere who, love her character or hate her, can sing her ass off. “Undermine” from Season One is still my all-time favorite song across these records. On this set she gives us “Trouble Is” showing off that Juliette Barnes attitude as usual, and a duet with Carmack “Can’t Say No to You” that is a pretty little country rock ditty made for a day of tailgating, barbecuing, or both.
The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 1 is the third consecutive collection of songs from this hit show that is ALL KILLER, NO FILLER. Pick this one up; hell, pick ‘em all up, crack open a cold one, and have a good old time!
RATING: 10/10 (ALL 3 VOLUMES)