Courtney Marie Andrews
May Your Kindness Remain


3.5
great

Review

by neekafat CONTRIBUTOR (56 Reviews)
September 2nd, 2018 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Why miss the good ol' days when you can still hear them?

May Your Kindness Remain is an album unconcerned with time. While there’s a noticeable tug of war between the past and present on the listeners’ ears, it seems to be more because of our frantic desire to categorize things that causes this friction than a purposeful decision on Andrews’ part. For much of the runtime, you’d be hard pressed to tell if it came out now or 50 years ago. The only clues come in the occasional genre bending, such as the bridge of “Border,” which sounds like what Pink Floyd would if they ventured into country rock, or a transcendent electric guitar solo on the moody “Took You Up.”

The obvious highlight of the album is Andrews’ majestic voice, as twangy as a steel guitar in true country fashion, channeled into something life-affirming and potent. Despite her unrelentingly country-styled delivery, the instrumentation can be almost progressive at times. It’s surprisingly unreliant on acoustic guitars, depending more on soundscapes of pianos, organs, and reverb, with the aforementioned electric guitar spiking in occasionally for emphasis. These choices don’t necessarily feel groundbreaking or new; rather they feel comfortable, an invitation to try something different if country isn’t your usual choice of diet. The lyrics also eschew the current stereotypes of the genre, focusing on personal hardships and lovelorn feelings, with lines like “Don’t take it to hard / When my mind becomes a question mark” that should be rooted in despair, but in Andrews’ hands, sound unmistakably hopeful.

However, the purity of the experience doesn’t last forever. The time-bending is also where the album’s strengths and weaknesses coalesce. It can come off as frustratingly old fashioned at times, especially in the second half where the otherwise soaring vocal melodies become repetitive and tired. The musicality stops being engaging and enters autopilot, and songs like “Kindness of Strangers” feel weirdly overblown and misguided aside timid and mostly uninteresting tracks like “I’ve Hurt Worse.”

Still, what Andrews has done here should not be discarded as an incomplete attempt to bring classic country to a modern audience; in many way she succeeds. She knows that reminding us of the good old days through music is more interesting than listening to someone whine about missing them. She instead infuses sounds from over several decades of her genre of choice to make her point: That no matter when you are, the music will always be here, and the things that we sing about will never change.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Had mixed feelings about this that warmed with time; an extremely pleasant listen even through its faults

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sadbump :c

Atari
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2018


24653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review man! “Kindness of Strangers” is one of my favorites tho :3



Opener is really nice too, like the gospel-like elements in that track





Digging: The Dangerous Summer - Mother Nature

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Atari! The opener is great I agree, that and "Border" are my faves (:

Also just realized that "Kindness of Strangers"'s chorus melody is weirdly similar to "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks

Papa Universe
September 3rd 2018


21594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Doubt I'll listen, but may your kind POS remain.

Digging: N'Zwaa - Maha Kali

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

But you already have it rated...?

Thanks!

Papa Universe
September 3rd 2018


21594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh wait, I did listen to this. fuck this was so forgettable.

my monthly roundup literally say: "While I definitely do enjoy the tenderness of it all, the album just felt too repetitive and not particularly memorable."

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hahaha I guess your point was proven. Could see a 3.0 or 4.0 for this depending on how well it captures you

Papa Universe
September 3rd 2018


21594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I relistened. Still a 3.0 on the musical merit, but I feel like dropping it to a 2.5 for just how uncreative and banal it is (and the fact that I even forgot of ots existence, but for now I "doubt I'll RE-listen, but may your kind POS remain."

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wouldn't call it uncreative! it's just not super inventive

Papa Universe
September 3rd 2018


21594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

so it's not creative, but neither uncreative? what are you on about?

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2018


2905 Comments


Lovely review, friend.


Digging: Behaving - Behaving

Atari
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2018


24653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

some others from this year you might dig based on this one



Jennifer Castle - Angels of Death

Caitlin Canty - Motel Bouquet

Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

Lori McKenna - The Tree

Olivia Chaney - Shelter

Brandi Carlile - By The Way, I Forgive You

Amanda Shires - To the Sunset

TwigTW
September 4th 2018


3770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually like this one, but I'm a fan of 70s female country rock singers. She's borrows heavily from them on this album. I agree that it lacks a standout track, but I like her voice. That's what carries it for me... I especially like the title track, "Took You Up," and "Long Road Back To You."

Digging: Kishi Bashi - Omoiyari

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you blush, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this if you ever chance upon it!

@Papa, somewhere in the middle (;

@Atari I've heard Musgraves but I'll have to check the others! If I don't get to them feel free to drop them in my year-end cram-list (:

@Twig those are all really good tracks man, and I agree that her voice is excellent here

ZombieToyDuck
September 4th 2018


7076 Comments


nice review! pos! I may check this out

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 4th 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man! Lemme know whatcha think if you do (:

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2018


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

< 3

Atari
Staff Reviewer
January 23rd 2019


24653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just heard "Dear Sister" from her debut album and it's probably better than anything on here. verrryy good song

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2019


15947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man I should really check the rest of her stuff



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