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| 29 November 2018 | Reply

Label: Thermal Entertainment

Release Date: September 21, 2018

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Rick Monroe – a performer that came to my attention a few years ago – has released a new disc with eleven great tracks that will please listeners of different genres that combine rock, country, folk… you get the point!  Disc opener “Good As Gone” kicks things off in the right direction with a perfect blend of southern rock and country, with some killer tempo and bottom end from the drums and bass.  The lyric is contagious and the vibe of the track is nothing but fun.  “Cocaine Cold & Whiskey Shakes” kicks the music in a different direction, but well within what is expected of Rick and his music.  This song has country written all over it.  The lyric is fun and tells a cool story that is perfectly represented by the musical accompaniment.  “Nothing To Do With You” is one of the coolest tracks on the disc, thanks to a fun lyric that describes a ton of one-night stands or a relationship at the end of its rope.  The guitars are perfect for the song and the rhythm section keeps things rolling along.  “Truth In The Story” has a cool swagger to it that helps it stand out a bit from the other tracks on the disc without being cast out as being too different.  The hearty layered background vocals provide punch between verses, while the tempo of the track gets the head rocking a bit through the verse.  “Rage On” delivers one of the best blues riffs on the disc, thanks to the Fender Rhodes / B3 combo that opens the track and weaves itself into the fabric of the track from open to close.  With this one in the CD player, I want to reach for a stiff double pour of something in the whiskey or bourbon family and enjoy the slow burn of the song and liquor together!  Disc closer “Tempt Me” let’s Rick show off the smokier side of his voice and the mellower side of the disc at the same time.  The song is a bit slow to close out the collection; he bucks the norm of taking you out as hard and strong as he brought you in on these songs.  Be sure to pay attention to the lyric on this one – we have all felt this emotion and sentiment at least once!

The discs title track “Smoke Out The Window” leans heavier into the country vein than the rock side, but the has something that gets the foot tapping and the lyric hooks you and before you know it, you are singing along as Monroe proclaims ‘Let it roll like Smoke Out The Window’ between verses.  This song should go over well in a live situation.  “I’ll Try” is a great ballad-like track that shows off Rick’s softer side.  This track – co-written by Hinder’s Marshal Dutton and Cody Hanson – has a vocal that delivers the emotionally charged lyric with precision and brings you into the mindset and heartbreak behind the songs story line.  “Stomp” has its feet planted in a heavy county sound, but the song is made to be cranked in a dark venue or a backwoods bar – the chorus is straightforward and the vibe of the track is sure to please people who like their country on a darker / heavier side.  “This Side Of The Dirt” revisits the rocker-tinged sound of the disc opening track and delivers on all fronts.  The song has a cool blend of guitars and vocals that swirls in the mix with the rhythm section.  Add in the stacked vocals from Rick and the trio of guys laying down background vocals and you have a wall of sound that comes together like a perfect storm.  “October” is a cool track that sounds as if it were written and produced for radio – it has that steady sound that peppers most hit songs on modern country stations.  The guitars add depth to and drives the track through the bridge and between verses and chorus.  This one features a little cello tossed into the sound of the guitars.  The vocals are the real star on this track as they give Monroe a little room to show off different sides of his voice as the song progresses.

Tracklisting: Good As Gone – Cocaine Cold & Whiskey Shakes – Smoke Out The Window – Nothing To Do With You – I’ll Try – Truth In The Story – Stomp – Rage On – This Side Of The Dirt – October – Tempt Me






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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