Tyler Childers
Country Squire


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mathias USER (19 Reviews)
August 10th, 2019 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An Appalachian troubadour delivers tales of joy and more joy.

Tyler Childers takes the pieces of modern country music, shatters them completely, and then picks up the pieces to put together records that run the gamut of country music, being undeniably catchy and accessible while never coming close to falling into the pitfalls of pop-country. This is country music from the hills of Kentucky, with mentions of everything from morels to muskies, which has absolutely no qualms with writing feel-good songs about love, instead of the endless drone of heartbreak which many of his country contemporaries try to offer. How many other artists, and especially country artists, could write a song about literally taking the loneliness of the road into your own hands and make it a heartfelt love song"

Just like his well-received debut Purgatory, Country Squire was produced by current industry legend Sturgill Simpson. While the down-home Southern charm and honky-tonk of Purgatory still permeates throughout the album, the influence of Simpson is felt strongly on this album. The rough-and-tumble twang is still there, but it’s surrounded with slight levels of psychedelia and experimentation. Southern Baptist Revival organs add layers to multiple songs, didgeridoo can be heard in “Bus Route”, and the entire album has a much more “concept album” feeling to it, with most songs seamlessly transitioning into each other, with many of those transitions featuring the subtle hand of innovation. While the grit of Childers’ past work can be missed at times, especially when it makes it presence known in songs like “Ever Lovin’ Hand”, Simpson’s influence doesn’t overstep its boundaries: This is still undeniably a Tyler Childers album. Strummed acoustic guitar and banjo are in abundance, fiddles are aplenty, and a guitar solo that sounds straight from the local bar is never too far away. The best culmination of all of these traits is found in the delightfully ramshackle, “All Your’n”, a bluesy, gospel twinged love song that is as much for Childers wife as it is his career.

Most importantly, however, his main goal is made clear in the title-track opener : Tyler Childers is here to make some damn good country songs. The title track is also the first sign of the aforementioned concept that stretches across the album. The title track is all about Childers’ desire to take his money from touring to buy a trailer to refurbish for his wife and family. The entire album is focused around making the best out of whatever circumstances Childers’ or those around him happen to be in. He offers a refreshingly earnest outlook on life for the genre without treading into the hackneyed lyrical stylings of similar tropes that contemporary country pop embraces. Part of this comes from the power of Childers voice, undeniably one of the best in the genre at the moment. A powerful vibrato adds even more passion to “House Fire”, a song already unmistakably about passion. “Peace of Mind” tells the story of a man who dreams of retiring from the railroad so he can smoke more marijuana, and the way that Childers delivers the word “marijuana” makes a fairly rank and file topic sound all the more romantic.

These observational songs are perhaps the most powerful across Country Squire. The man in “Peace of Mind” is the story of a roommate’s older brother who used to watch University of Kentucky football games with Childers and his roommates. “Creeker” tells the story of all of the people Childers sees in Chicago as he is drunk and hungover after his Uber Driver drops him off at the wrong intersection. Five minutes long, you find yourself there with Childers as the bluesy piano stumbles along, sounding drunk all in itself, and he laments, in a playfully ironic way, “All the ways that the city can bring a country boy down”. Closer “Matthew” is the saddest song on the album, but is still undoubtedly twinged with optimism. It tells the stories of multiple men in a small town, including Childers’ war veteran brother-in-law. This is essentially the thesis statement of the album, about simply enjoying the little things life offers you in between its trials, even if it’s just chatting with friends and family while waiting on the muskie to bite. Even if you’re nowhere near where a muskie might bite, or if you have no idea what a muskie is, let Tyler Childers and Country Squire transport you there.



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user ratings (14)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
dmathias52
August 10th 2019


729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A quietly good year for country music so far and this is one of my favorites.

Any feedback is much appreciated!

Digging: Tyler Childers - Country Squire

DoofDoof
August 10th 2019


4829 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this one is growing on me ye

fogza
August 10th 2019


268 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, made me wanna hear this, and so far it's pretty good.

dmathias52
August 10th 2019


729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it’s nothing incredibly special, but if you’re looking for some incredibly solid country music, you won’t do much better than Tyler Childers. Check out Purgatory too, if you get a chance.

Scoot
August 10th 2019


19443 Comments


this guy is one of the better artists around in this vein

Digging: Tool - Fear Inoculum

DoubleDD
August 10th 2019


58 Comments


could be, this is good

Ambrosian
August 10th 2019


126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to see a review. This album's got a much more varied sound than his last two releases, alot going on in the mix here and it sounds great

dmathias52
August 10th 2019


729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yup I agree. I think a lot of people are disappointed by the lack of grittiness, but I think it’s still there plus a good deal of evolution

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 10th 2019


31922 Comments


I remember the artwork from doing the weekly release post. Never heard of this guy, but now I'm intrigued.

Digging: Off With Their Heads - Be Good

PostMesmeric
August 10th 2019


761 Comments


Heard good things about this one, and while I don't think it doesn't anything crazy different and lacks a bit of bite to its aesthetic, it's clear that Tyler has a knack for lyricism. Great review.

dmathias52
August 11th 2019


729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Appreciate the kind words/feature! And yeah while it’s nothing entirely different, it’s enough for me to show he’s not trying to rest on his laurels. I’m just noticing now I didn’t really quote any lyrics, partially cause there are too many to choose from.

@Sowing He’s actually one of the bigger names in the country resurgence, kind of the tier below Sturgill and Isbell. Since you like Sturgill, would def recommend.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2019


9903 Comments


This is making me want to listen to a country album. Kudos.

Digging: Sparrows - Failed Gods

theBoneyKing
August 11th 2019


17070 Comments


Nice review, need to check this. I’ve heard Purgatory a couple times but never rated, that’s due a relisten from me too.

dmathias52
August 11th 2019


729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys! While this undeniably a country album, I think it’s pretty accessible even for those who aren’t as into the genre.

I could see you really loving this Boney. Not quite Isbell/Moreland territory, but I’d put him up there with Stapleton.

Pho3nix
August 12th 2019


675 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This one didn't do it for me, don't get me wrong I enjoy honky-tonk just like the next guy (looking at you Alan Jackson!) but something is just missing, dunno what.



It does pick up in the latter half, might actually up this to a 3.0 on further re-listens. For anyone interested, I'd probably recommend Colter Wall over this dude





kris.
August 12th 2019


15275 Comments


really need to check this out. his debut was fantastic.

dmathias52
August 12th 2019


729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Pho3nix I love Colter Wall, but I feel like he’s a pretty different type of country. Although I totally agree with the recommendation, he’s great!

theBoneyKing
August 12th 2019


17070 Comments


Colter Wall is a hack

Pho3nix
August 14th 2019


675 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@dmathias52 Agreed!



I'd also recommend the newest (2019) record by Doug Seegers

dmathias52
August 15th 2019


729 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ooh Doug Seegers isn’t one I’ve heard of, def check him out. I’ll throw Joshua Ray Walker’s new one your way as well

@Boney Do you really not like Colter Wall? Seems up your alley to say the least



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