Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageReview: Dan + Shay mesmerize on new country album 'Where It All Began' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 13, 2014 in Music
Country duo Dan + Shay released their debut studio album "Where It All Began" on April 1 via their record label, Warner Music Nashville.
All of the 12 songs on the album were co-written by Dan + Shay, which is made up of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney.
It opens with the infectious "Show You Off," which offers an equal balance of strong harmonies. It is followed by "Stop Drop + Roll," which features neat hooks and melodies.
"19 You + Me" is the hypnotic song that introduced Dan + Shay to the country audience. It is ultra-catchy and the mandolin and acoustic guitar solos take it to a higher level. Once you hear it on the radio, it is a song that you wish you could hear on repeat all day.
"19 You + Me" is nearing the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Airplay charts. Shay nails the lead vocals and Dan captivates on harmonies. Their soothing vocals on this tune are reminiscent of Gary LeVox from Rascal Flatts meets American Idol alum David Archuleta ("Crush"). Through its vivid lyrics, they take their fans on a journey to what their pleasant experience during their first week in Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, and how sad they were when they left. "Like the tears we cried that day we had to leave, It was everything we wanted it to be, the summer of 19 you and me," Shay sings in this song.
Pianos and guitars are present on "What You Do To Me," which deserves to be a future radio single for them, since they profess how girls can drive some men "crazy" in love, in a good way.
The track "Can't Say No" was co-produced by Dan and Scott Hendricks, as well as co-written by such esteemed songwriters as Ben Hayslip and Rhett Akins. Although it is less country-sounding and more pop, it is another beautiful vocal performance.
"First Time Feeling" describes an unforgettable experience of a first love with warm and vivid imagery yet again and they make an allusion to George Strait. "Under the neon sky, just watching the world go by, And we were laying by the river when the moon started dripping, finally figured out what a boy been missing," Shay sings.
"Nothin' Like You" is a soaring ballad, whereas "Parking Brake" is fast-paced and "Somewhere Only We Know" is reminiscent of a quintessential Jason Aldean tune, especially since they rap in a few lines.
The piano-driven and moving ballad "I Heard Goodbye" showcases Shay's wide range as a vocalist. It is like a quiet storm, featuring their united harmonies.
Award-winning Canadian country songstress Carolyn Dawn Johnson lends her angelic backing vocals on "Party Girl" and helps elevate it to a higher level.
The soothing "Close Your Eyes" is a neat way to close their debut album with, in a calm vocal that is backed by stunning banjo and acoustic guitar instrumentation.
The Verdict
The album's title says it all. This is only the beginning of an illustrious career for country duo Dan + Shay. They are certainly the next Rascal Flatts in the genre and one of the most talented songwriters and vocalists out there. This new CD is relaxing, pleasant and delightful to listen to due to its organic and raw vibe. They stray away from over-production and this is what fans can expect to hear from them in their live shows.
With songs such as "Party Girl," "19 You + Me" and "What You Do To Me," it is the ideal CD for men to play on their a date with their ladies, due to its romantic nature. The control they have over their voices is quite impressive and not many musicians can pull off, especially on their first album.
Their recent Academy of Country Music (ACM) nomination for "Vocal Duo of the Year" was indeed based on merit and with a record of this caliber, I would not be surprised if they take the award home next year.
For more information on country duo Dan + Shay and their new album, visit their official website.
More about dan shay, Warner Music Nashville, country duo, dan smyers, shay mooney
Latest News
Top News