Of the many elements that comprise what country music is, somehow along the way we decided to stupidly place emphasis on an artist’s origins as a source of credibility. Hell, let’s forget things like being able to connect with a listener or tug at the heartstrings, it’s all about where you’re from.
I know where you think this conversation is going to. Well, it’s not a matter of city versus country. Let’s all put aside any personal opinions we have for the moment and look at some facts for a moment. It’s no secret that the great state of Georgia over recent years has become a punching bag for many who bemoan the rise of several “less than stellar” acts in mainstream country music.
And again, that’s unfair. I mean heck, we had Alan Jackson come from there, and while not country, the southern-rock group Blackberry Smoke is another band that earns the highest praise from me.
Country singer songwriter Taylor Alexander as you may have guessed by now is from Georgia, and like Jackson before him is another example of an asset for country music. And as for the type of country music the man presents to the listener, it’s none other than the good ol’ traditional kind.
I’m sure that statement right there is enough to entice a lot of attention from some of you out there. And indeed, the country singer/songwriter’s three song project, Real Good At Saying Goodbye is a treat for the ears, rooting itself within the foundations of country music and delivering tales that are native to the genre as well.
If I’m being honest, it’s a little hard talking about this particular project in any great length. Not because it’s bad mind you, far from it actually. But at three songs, it’s hard to get a grasp of who Taylor Alexander is, which isn’t meant as something personal considering this is something that happens with every short project out there.
However, I’m not sure how much I can actually criticize Taylor for this. Even at three songs, there’s a lot to love here, and Taylor certainly gives you a reason to keep listening for further projects. Who knows what else he’s got in store for us. With that perspective in mind, Real Good At Saying Goodbye is a highly enjoyable listen. The first track, “Break My Heart Tonight” namedrops a couple of Hank Williams tunes, and it even sounds like it came from that era of country music to boot. That’s of course a compliment. The waltz like title track comes from a screwed up narrator (something that once again is a staple of the genre) who doesn’t have the ability to commit himself to a full length relationship. “Wishing My Life Away” just may be the album’s best song with a solid acoustic groove and excellent steel guitar tones. Don’t get me wrong, the first two tunes are damn good in their own right, but “Wishing My Life Away” proves that Taylor can deliver an original, impactful song, something he needs to ascend to that next level.
In an age where we have so much more music competing for our attention than ever before, especially in an age where you’re either clinging tightly to a strict country sound or branching out completely, Real Good At Saying Goodbye is an album that deserves your attention. The sound is amazing and the writing is just a shade away from being truly excellent. Again, I want to hear a bigger project from Taylor Alexander before I set any opinion in stone, but you know, I definitely like what I hear so far. I have reason to believe that you might too.
Best Song: “Wishing My Life Away”