Album Review – Dean Miller’s “‘Til You Stop Getting Up”

When you’re born into a musical family, it’s inevitable that you’re going to at least try to get into the family business yourself too. Hank Williams Jr. followed his father, Hank Williams. Both Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard have multiple children involved in the music industry. And Dean Miller followed his father Roger Miller. Dean’s father was part of the “Golden Age” of country music and was well-known for his novelty songs, the most recognizable being “King of the Road.” Dean himself has been involved with country music industry for sometime, with his first album coming out in 1997. His biggest hit so far has been “Nowhere, USA,” which peaked at #54 on the country chart in 1997. He’s also a writer who has had several of his songs recorded by notable artists such as George Jones, Jamey Johnson, Terri Clark, Hank Williams III and many others. Miller has been there and done that, as the saying goes. And he’s now came out with his third album, ‘Til You Stop Getting Up, his first album since 2005.

The Best Songs on the Album

The album’s title track, “‘Til You Stop Getting Up,” is a song about an older man and a younger man at a bar. The younger man has just went through a breakup and the older man gives him advice on how to handle failure and never give up when life deals you a difficult hand. It’s very well written and paints a picture in the listeners’ heads. The music video is worth checking out too, as the older man is played by Kris Kristofferson.

Miller’s writing shines again on “River Across My Heart.” It’s a heartbreak song that describes a man’s feelings after the end of a failed relationship quite well. The lyric that stands out to me is when he sings about the ring he was wanting to give the woman being so cold in his jacket pocket, yet it burns through him. Really makes the listener feel what the man is experiencing. “Begging For a Bullet” is about being stuck in a messy relationship and begging for someone to just end it for him. It’s an agonizing relationship that he hates so much, yet can’t leave. Miller shows his tender side in “An Angel Believes in Me,” and is a very relatable song for men who have just fallen in love.

The Worst Songs on the Album

None of the songs on the album came off as bad to me, however there was one song that felt a little boring and dry. “This Is Where It All Goes Right” felt like your typical pop country love song. Nothing really stands out about it.

The Rest of the Album

I found the remaining songs to be quite solid. The entire album is pretty spot on with the instrumentation on each song, but “Stay” was the best in terms of the instrumentation used. It’s a bright and upbeat love song that utilizes its acoustic instruments well and has some hints of jazz influences with the inclusions of horns. “My Heart is In Your Hands” is a contemporary love song about man expressing his love. The mellow tone gives the song a relaxed feeling. “Kill My Love” is about a guy looking for a rebound girl after the end of a relationship and “San Francisco” tells the tale of a summer relationship that went wrong. The latter song had a really impressive lyric that stood out to me that described the mood of the song: “The coldest winter that I’ve ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” That’s just great songwriting. The album concludes with “I’m A Leaver,” which is about two completely opposite people wanting something completely different out of a relationship.

Overall Thoughts

Miller’s songwriting experience shows in this album. All of the songs were written well and flowed together nicely. The instrumentation complemented the lyrics well, although I was hoping to hear at least one fast tempo song out of Miller. A majority of the songs were mellow or slowed down, which isn’t a problem. But I wanted a little more variety. Considering this is his first album in nine years, I think it’s a great effort. The choice of only having ten songs is good too because it allows the listener to digest this album quite easily (you know my thoughts on long albums). ‘Til You Stop Getting Up is an album that will appeal mostly to men, especially younger males experiencing love or heartbreak. The overall sound is a blend of contemporary and traditional, making this aspect appealing to all listeners. I hope to hear more out of Miller and I think he’s capable of making even better music. Nevertheless, ‘Til You Stop Getting Up is solid all the way through and recommend giving it a listen.

Grade: 7/10


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