The brief version: Clay walker stumbles on ‘Long Live The Cowboy,’ his an initial album in ripe years.

Favorite tracks: “Makes Me desire To Stay,” “Love Is The prefer The Rain,” “Napkin”Least favourite track: “Little miss Whiskey”Rating: 4/10

The lengthy version: i wish ns was a little more excited about the idea the a brand-new Clay pedestrian album.

You are watching: Clay walker long live the cowboy

Walker, like plenty of of his contemporaries of his day, is now finding himself in the post-radio phase of his career, with his last hit being, “She Won’t it is in Lonely Long” native 2009. For the most part, he’s quietly been just one of the many underrated artists to arise out of the ’90s, and now the the tides the mainstream nation have shifted, surely walker would simply move on, right?

Unfortunately, no. In fact, pedestrian was saying just about everything you wouldn’t desire him come say leading approximately his newest album, long Live The Cowboy. Together he says in the Nashville Sound, “It’ll never be the same; we will never go back to the means it was in the ’80s or the ’90s or anything choose that. Which is good. This change in the music has definitely helped nation music grow. I think I’ve been able to do an album of music that falls right whereby it have to be.” that course, this words were said means back in 2015, and considering this album to be finished as far earlier as 2013, this would median the album is currently outdated. At any rate, considering it’s to be nine years since we heard brand-new Walker music, surely this was at least deserving the one listen, right?

Well, yes, however one listen just may be all one will really have the ability to take the this album. It harms to say this, but Long Live The Cowboy is no only bad all around, it’s also the worst album pedestrian has ever released by fairly a big margin. This is not an album do by one artist who’s uncovered his identity in a brand-new age, it’s the album of someone trying come fit in there is no realizing it’s as well late.

I don’t also know where to begin with this album. To Walker’s credit, this go sound choose an album from 2013, yet that’s not exactly a great thing. It’s simply a bloated mess, with synthetic production clashing with drum machines, chintzy percussion, electric guitars v no sizzle, and fiddles and also steel guitars buried in the mix. This isn’t a Clay walker album, it’s the template you use for whichever D-list artist you just signed onto your roster.

Even top top “Little miss out on Whiskey,” one of the only tracks v some “oomph” behind it, the riff that permeates after ~ the chorus sounds weak and also dead top top arrival. The sentimental ballads top top this album room overblown with included strings and piano on top of everything else in the aforementioned mix.

Walker’s constantly had the form of sensual voice the works ideal in his lower register, and he’s always been a satisfied to listen to. Here, there’s several moments wherein he struggles to keep up. The chorus that “Little miss out on Whiskey” is one item of evidence to bolster that claim, however so is his for sure lethargic rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking out Loud.” Sure, that admittedly handles the love ballads “Right Now” and “Workin’ top top Me” reasonably well, and also he’s absolutely impressive ~ above “Change,” but considering they’re every overblown in every other way, they’re quiet not exactly highlights.

But really, on the keep in mind of do the efforts to store up through a younger crowd, us can’t dance about the lyrical contents anymore. Past feeling very 2013 in the way it caters to bro-country and misogynistic trends, there’s one odd feeling of arrogance about it too, namely in the hookup tracks and how he ideologies women. Take “Rock The Radio” for example, where Walker runs right into an old flame after God knows how long before saying they simply ride approximately in his truck blasting the radio, a quite odd revolve of phrase.

The following track, “Right Now” might sound better, but even here, if him and his far-ranging other are “texting all night top top the telephone,” the asks, no, demands her to simply hop right into her car and also drive over to his house, since he can’t come to her for … part reason. “Napkin” admittedly has actually a really good turnaround of a hook, but even here, it’s a track whereby Walker walks up to a mrs in her bar and also demands she compose down she phone number top top a napkin there is no a proper introduction (and of course this works!).

But the many egregious example of this meat-headed writing comes v on “Little miss out on Whiskey,” a sleazy bro-country monitor that’s got nothing redeemable about it. Forget just being the worst track of the year for this reason far. This is the worst tune Walker has ever recorded. Come quote few of the more infamous one-liners, “got a human body she stole native the centerfold the a Playboy magazine” and also “she to know just how to jack me up,” among the worst innuendos because Florida Georgia Line’s pink umbrella line.

Honestly though, that doesn’t really gain much better. Because that an album the tips its hat to the cowboy lifestyle, the title monitor is the only song even trying to go for that thematic arc. Even then, it’s just one large generic, checklist thrust “ode” come them. Friend know how it walk already. They drive trucks, acquire stuck in the mud and live in the heart of ‘Merica. The an ext generic you gain with these species of anthems, the less anyone will certainly be maybe to connect with them. This review is currently running long, therefore I’ll skip an extra i on Walker’s attempt at rapping throughout this track too.

For as negative as this album is though, the latter half is admittedly whereby things start to choose up a little. “Napkin” at least comes with the self-awareness that his technique of asking this woman the end is incredibly outdated (in the chorus she just hands him she phone), and it would be kind of cute if no for the outside irony of it all. “Love Is The favor The Rain” is around the only minute on this album where the electrical guitars and also sandy percussion actually have some groove come them, and “Change” and also “Workin’ top top Me” room schmaltzy ballads, but they’re perform well.

The one track right here that’s truly good though is “Makes Me want To Stay,” a monitor that begins with a Celtic romp prior to unfurling its terrific melody. The north (or north machines) sound horrible almost everywhere else, however there’s some genuine crunch behind castle here. If there’s any kind of track the manages to pull itself together and really display a new interesting direction because that Walker, it’s this one.

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But friend know, even for as lot as i don’t think “Change” is as bad as many of the various other tracks here, it’s ironic the it’s right here at all. Walker’s proclamation the he’s always going come be himself is contradicted through this whole album. Pedestrian is a talented artist, yet this vicious cycle happens to every artist, even the legends. Rather of trying to fit in through the present radio climate, pedestrian should emphasis on doing what he’s constantly done – making rock solid country music, not soulless tripe such together this. For together harsh as I’ve been, I want Walker to pertained to his senses and also rediscover the artist within him, because we’ll all be better for it.