"People forget how great country music is, and we haven’t. It’s nice knowing we’re putting the banjo, the fiddle, the steel and the mandolin back out front."
Another remarkable thing about this album is how little the girls sing about love. Love is such a big topic in country music, and all music in general. But Maddie & Tae only occasionally broach the topic. "Right Here Right Now," "No Place Like You," "Smoke" and "Your Side of Town" are the only tracks truly about love. And in this day and age, to have an 11 track album that's less than half about love is such an amazing thing.
Vocally, this album is a a masterpiece. Marlow kills the vocals in every single song, ranging from angry to emotional, to comforting. Dye is prominent in every song, and sings beautifully as well. Many fans have complained that Taylor Dye never gets to sing lead, but her harmonies are part of what makes this record so incredible. Harmonies are something that the Dixie Chicks had down so well, and since them, there hasn't been a group to fill that hole. Maddie & Tae fill that harmonies hole beautifully with this record.
Along with creating amazing ballads, Maddie & Tae also have a few funny bones in their bodies. There are three comical tracks on this album, including the smash hit debut single "Girl In A Country Song" along with "Shut Up and Fish" and "Sierra." The best of these is "Sierra," the more country pop oriented track that plays with words so much you have to listen to the song multiple times so get all of them. This is an example of masterful and well thought out songwriting, something that Maddie & Tae have mentioned that they want to be known for. This, or "Shut Up and Fish," a song telling the tale of a boy who had "more than bass on his mind" could be viable options for the third single. And since the girls recently played "Shut Up and Fish" on the Bobby Bones Show, they could be thinking that as well.
As a recent Wide Open Country article noted, female duos in recent years have not tended to stay around very long. The Wreckers, the JaneDear Girls and others only lasted a song or two before they were no longer relevant in country music. Hopefully, this will not happen to Maddie & Tae. In the pop filled, hip hop influenced world of country radio right now, this duo is a breath of fresh air. They are traditional yet contemporary, and pay their respects to the classic parts of country music as well as adding their own flair. Not to mention that Maddie & Tae have some of the most breathtaking vocals and harmonies around. They are a duo that country music really needs right now, and hopefully that will be enough to make them stay, and become as big as their male equivalents Florida Georgia Line. But they'll be a whole lot better, and a whole lot more country.
Best tracks: Waitin' On A Plane, Smoke, After the Storm Blows Through, Sierra
Overall rating: 4 and a half crowns