This was a highly anticipated album by one of my favorite artists, Tyler Childers. When he released "Purgatory" in 2017, Childers became one of the leaders of this new "outlaw country" genre. I've been listening to this album on repeated since it dropped a few days ago and since it is indeed a full gospel album I decided to give you all a little review on this glorious Sunday morning. Bow your head, hit play, and maybe the Lord will answer your prayers and deliver you winners in week 4 of the NFL.
When the first single of this album was released a few weeks ago and it was straight up gospel I was shocked. Maybe I shouldn't have been because this would be the 3rd Childers album with religious themes after "Bottles and Bibles" and "Purgatory". I scrolled through the album song titles on apple music and sure enough...a gospel album.
Eight songs recorded three different ways each. Never really seen that done before. I feel like mega albums are a trend now. We just saw Zach Bryan release a 34 song album followed by a 9 song EP like a 3 weeks later. Morgan Wallen did something similar too. I think this is the streaming economy at work here. No need to condense your work into an album that can last only 80 mins total. If you've got something to put out there, let it rip and let those streaming dollars flow in. I assume that's the reason for this trend.
I love Childers. I want that on the record. I feel like I need to say that because I am disappointed with this album because, well, there's plenty to be disappointed about. It's 24 songs that are really 8. Then of that eight there is a cover of a Hank Williams song, a cover/new rendition of his own song "Purgatory" from the aforementioned album, and then two instrumental songs. So for his latest album Childers delivered three original new songs. As a huge fan of his, this is not what I was hoping for or expecting.
Having said that...I enjoy it overall. It feels like the perfect solo road trip album that you just let run as you drift into highway hypnosis thinking about where your life went wrong. Maybe there is salvation in that. His voice is great. A modern take on gospel music is not something I would ever seek out and not something I thought I would enjoy. Yet, here we are. That is the power of Childers as an artist. He can make me ignore the fact that he wrote 3 new songs on his new album, and enjoy music that feels like it was written half in a still and half in a church. He's a tour de force even when he puts out an album nobody would ask for. That is probably the coolest thing about music in the internet era. It paves the way for passion projects and taking risks in a way that didn't exist even 10 years ago. In the old music industry nobody would even know about Tyler Childers because no label would take the risk of funding an artist like him. He's incredible and he can use his style and background to bring a style of music to the masses and make them like it.