Maddie and Tae – Start Here Album Review
By Hannah Compton
Just when I thought Big Machine Label Group had hung up their Stetsons, thrown away the cowboy boots and traded in all their instruments for pop style backing tracks, I was happy to be proven wrong by Maddie and Tae’s debut album Start Here.
Not only has the album restored my faith in the Label Group but in Modern Country in general. For a minute there I really thought we were losing all our young artists to Pop, and not Cross-over Country Pop, but over all Pop. I think that by today’s standards this Album would be classed as Country pop, but for me, it is just Modern Country with the same Country Twang we all love. My personal definition of Country Pop is pretty much the same as Modern Country and not what current Artists’ and Labels are leading us to believe is Country Pop. For example the new Band Perry single Live Forever has no trace of country whatsoever. I cannot be fooled to thinking otherwise!
Maddie and Tae have been signed as one of the first artists to Dot Records since it is has been reactivated by Big Machine and the Republic Records Unit of Universal Music Label Group.
At just 19 and 20, Maddison Marlow and Taylor Dye took Nashville and beyond by storm with their unforgettable, comical and wonderfully catchy, debut single Girl In a Country Song. Since then this young country duo have gone on to prove themselves as talented singer/songwriters, impressing both critics and fans all over.
So what makes this album wonderful? Well, in my opinion, everything about it. Although, as previously mentioned, I feared for the future of Country Music, I still held high hopes for this album, especially as their 4 track EP, released back in 2014, was on my playlist constantly for months with all four songs being, not only well written, but had beautifully catchy melodies. I thought all tracks equally single worthy. I am happy to say that all those songs made the album and the album in general does not disappoint.
Start here has such a great country sound with all our favourite instruments and wonderful Country Gal harmonies. This album has a great mixture of ballads, up tempo tracks and a couple of fun lovin’ tracks which are sure to get you putting on your cowboy boots and dancing.
With their individually unique voices, these girls also have a little bit of Carrie Underwood and Danielle Bradbery to their style.
If you are unconvinced and possibly didn’t take the single Girl In A Country Song seriously, then I recommend listening to the tracks:
After The Storm Blows Through – a beautiful rendition of at The Opry as featured below.
Maddie and Tae – Start Here will be released 28th August and can be pre ordered here:
Start Here (Deluxe Edition) by Maddie & Tae
Waitin On A Plane – Kicks off the album with a Country Instrumental Intro and stunning harmonies. After having this song on for just a few seconds, I knew I was going to be taken in by the whole album. An up tempo song yet not too catchy.
Girl In A Country Song – The debut single. Mocking the content of the type of songs most Bro Country artists currently produce, but not to be taken too seriously in terms of dissing the industries most successful artists. This is SUCH a fun song and actually very well written and really fun to sing and listen to at full volume. This track is very modern country and no doubt the best choice for their introduction to the Country Scene.
Smoke – Is more of a down beat song with a lovely powerful Chorus and a lovely fiddle solo halfway through.
Shut Up and Fish – Well I think the title already tells you this is going to be a fun up tempo, catchy song, but that by no means makes it a bad song. It’s very Country, more so than most of the Country Charts’ current singles. I would love to see this as a single with a great music video.
Fly – One of my favourite songs that originally featured on their EP. I am so glad it became their second single and made it on to the album. This song also has a stunning video. A very strong song vocally and lyrically with an acoustic feel to it. It has a beautiful ballad that showcases Maddie and Tae’s vocal abilities. The lyrics have such a great meaning and positive message in them.
Sierra – Another track originally from their EP. I LOVE this song. A song about karma for all those mean girls out there which we have all encountered. This song is uplifting and definitely puts you in a good mood after a bad day. I hope this becomes a single but with the word Ass being in the lyrics, it’s doubtful for Country Radio. But who knows?
Your Side Of Town – Another from their EP. Another up tempo track which is very female driven and an inspirational track which all women can relate to. I feel so good after screaming along to this song ha!
Right Here Right Now – Not a bad song but not my favourite. The kind of song which is a good B side track but in my opinion, not single worthy. Not a lot of variation to the melody but still enjoyable. I would say this is my least favourite track off the album.
No Place Like You – This song reminds me so much of something Danielle Bradbery would record. I love the vocals in the Chorus. A great beat to the track which will get an audience clapping along at a live show. I like the reference to The Wizard of Oz too and referring to a person rather than home but to most of us our loved ones are our home, cheesy I know but still true.
After The Storm Blows Through – Probably the most stunning song on the album, with a fiddle Intro similar to tracks of Zac Brown Band. This wonderful Ballad features beautiful harmonies throughout. This is the type of song which reminds me why I love Country music so much. Maddie and Tae performed this at The Grand Ole Opry, proving to those who thought they were just another young girl duo with catchy tunes that they could not only sing but could REALLY sing and showcased their talents as songwriters too.
Downside Of Growing Up – Another really country song. A great track to end the album with. A feel good song with inspirational lyrics not too upbeat but definitely not down tempo either. I love it!
Overall, a fantastic album with each song written or co-written by the girls. I love every song on this album and have no doubt in my mind they will go far. All I need now is for Maddie and Tae to take the trip to the UK so I can finally see them live and perhaps tell them how impressed I am with their sound.
I will most definitely be keeping this album on repeat!