Country Perspective didn’t come into existence until late May 2014, therefore I missed the opportunity to review several albums released earlier in 2014. Today will be the first ‘better late than never’ review. I’m also trying a new album review format. Let me know in the comments what you think of the new format and whether I should stick with it. Now to the review…
I first came across Jason Eady when I heard “A.M. Country Heaven” on Spotify. I fell in love with the song on first listen and really enjoy Eady’s voice. It was his breakout hit, so I was anxious to see his follow-up for it. And it doesn’t disappoint. Jason Eady’s Daylight & Dark album is one of the most complex albums I’ve listened to this year. And there has been a lot of great, deep music released this year. Daylight & Dark is mellow and layered with so many complexities that you have to listen to it several times to pick up the little nuances that are peppered through it. The music itself has a textured and dark feel, which is perfect for this album because the main theme of it is heartbreak.
The Best Songs on the Album
The album’s title track “Daylight & Dark” is a song that deals with the complexities of life’s problems. It’s pretty deep and will resonate differently with each listener. “Liars & Fools” is the best written song on the album. There’s a lot of truths to the lyrics, especially this line in the chorus: “Liars live in their own little world, while the fools lay it all on the line.” Basically the moral is it’s better to try and fail, than live in denial. “Whiskey & You” is one of the many drinking songs that fill this album. But what makes this one stand out to me is the storytelling in the lyrics. “We Might Just Miss Each Other” is the lone duet on the album, as Eady sings this with his fiancé Courtney Patton. This is a heartbreak song that looks from the perspective of whether getting back together would be the right thing to do. There’s great chemistry between the future husband and wife.
The Worst Songs on the Album
There aren’t any bad songs on this album. But there were two songs I felt could have a little bit more “meat” to them. Those two songs were “The Other Side of Abilene” and “Temptation.” Both just felt like they were missing something. Still these are two solid songs I have no problem listening to over and over.
The Rest of the Album
As far as the rest of the album, it’s pretty damn solid. “Ok Whiskey” and “One, Two…Many” are two slightly upbeat drinking songs that are solid all-around in terms of instrumentation and lyrics. “Lonesome Down and Out” is a slower, more mellow drinking song. The album closes out with “Late Night Diner” and “A Memory Now.” The first one is about a conversation between a man and a woman in a diner late night where they discuss heartbreak and life’s decisions. The lyrics do a good job “painting the scene” in the listener’s head. Texas artist Hayes Carll and Evan Felker of the Turnpike Troubadours join Eady on “A Memory Now.” This song recalls the memories of a man being married to his ex-wife. The lyrics deal with things like how the man’s family told him she was wrong for him and the man recalling getting a loan from the bank for a house, which seems to be his problem now. I thought it was a great way to close the album. Both Carll and Felker added something to the song too.
This album packs a punch in the complexity department. I’ll reiterate what I said above. You have to listen to this album a few times to truly appreciate it. It’s mellow and dark, which means this certainly isn’t for everyone. When all of the songs deal with heartbreak and drinking, you know it’s not going to be a happy album. But the overall mellowness is kind of hard to swallow. I think it would’ve made the softer songs stand out more if there were some upbeat songs that were included in the album. With most of the songs having a similar soft pace and similar subject matters, some listeners might become bored. Nevertheless if you enjoy listening to artists such as Merle Haggard and Justin Townes Earle, I think Eady’s Daylight & Dark would be perfect for this group of listeners. I hope Eady shows more variety in his next album, but for now I’ll enjoy this dark and complex album.