Album Reviews

Ashley Raines & the New West Review

It Could Be Worse

Artist:     Ashley Raines & the New West Review

Album:     It Could Be Worse

Label:     Idiom Music

Release Date:     08.25.2017

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Ashley Raines is described as an American songwriter, lyricist, composer and multi-instrumentalist, according to his website. While this description seems to fit most musicians in the folk and Americana genres, it doesn’t always ring true. In Raines’ case, he is 100% the all-American poster child for this sort of bio.

His latest release, It Could Be Worse, with his band The New West Review, is authentic and simple. There’s no need for studio and computer altering here. This Kansas City, Missouri artist is one of the very few real deals out there.

The title track can send shivers down your spine, a perfect tune to transition us into the crisp months ahead. It’s sexy and chilling at the same time. The next track, “Put Your Back Into It”, has a similar feel. Raines’ deep voice and powerful lyrics speak directly to the listener. These songs make you feel as though Raines and his band is right next to you, sending you a message through song.

“Peace in the Valley’s” instrumental intro and Gospel-esq lyrics take you to the deep south, with passion and heat rolled up nicely into this perfect track. A true standout on this album. “Follow The Band” is a gorgeous ballad. Listen to it in a dark room with a glass of whiskey. “Drummer Boy’s Drum” calls out to classic country. It’s similar to something you may have heard before, but with a catchy chorus and sweet melodies.

Raines’ folk-rock sound and songs are short and to the point. The lyrics are honest, as are the instruments. It Could Be Worse is a collection of songs very much worth adding to your next playlist.

—Brenda Hillegas

 

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