By Harriet Reed
‘Dan & Shay’s eponymous third album doesn’t disappoint with memorable lyrics and swaying melodies. The entire album could easily be listened to on a road trip where all you have is miles to drive and tarmac all around. The stand out track for me was Alone Together, the opening beat is enough to make anyone feel that they are at CMA Fest experiencing the duo’s first appearance on the main stage in front of over 60,000 die hard country music fans. In addition to performing, they have had their first win of an award with the album’s first single ‘Tequila’, there ode to lost love and the demon drink, at the CMT Music Awards.
The album as a whole feels like a love story that has slowly developed through the years from school, to college and then onto adulthood. The pair have stated that their very personal love song ‘Speechless’ was how they both felt that on their wedding days when they saw their wives. This love and affection is evident through all of the tracks on the album.
The minimalism of the album’s cover reflects the eleven stripped back and paired down tracks that are contained within. All of the tracks are easy to listen to and the music doesn’t over complicate the simple messages portrayed as you listen. The self contained style of ‘My Side of the Fence’ portray a duo content in their own musical boundaries. Even the anthemic ‘Keeping Score’ with guest vocalist Kelly Clarkson never strays too far into stadium territory with its mellow riffs and understated vocals. The music never dominates any of the albums lyrics, instead it provides a backdrop to create a new story of love and loss every three minutes. ‘Island Time’ could be the perfect compliment to any holiday romance with it’s laid back guitars and vocals, you could almost be sipping tequila on the beach whilst listening to its melody.
If you are a fan of easy and enjoyable music this album is a must. If the jury is still out at the end it may be best to go see them live (in the U.K. January 2019) as you will not be disappointed by the very energetic performances Dan & Shay offer.’