One important thing is needed to preface this review: I am not a huge a fan of country music.
I rarely listen to it nowadays because it all seems too pop and party.
That being said I am a fan of Danny Worsnop, so when I heard that he had released a country album, I had to give it a listen.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of you guys have not heard of Danny Worsnop, which isn’t that surprising because he isn’t involved in a lot of mainstream music.
Worsnop is most known for fronting two metal bands, Asking Alexandria and We Are Harlot.
On Feb. 17, 2017 Worsnop released “The Long Road Home” much to the surprise of his fans and the metal community, especially coming from a boy who grew up in England and speaks with a British accent.
This album is severely different from anything Worsnop has done in the past. It is also rather different from most country albums. Unlike traditional albums, Worsnop recorded “The Long Road Home” completely live on the producer’s couch. This method of recording gives the album an untouched, raw quality that is rarely seen in music today.
While listening to the album it becomes clear how this live recording affects the sound.
Multiple times throughout the album, there are audible imperfections like wrong notes being played in a chord or the wrong key being sung at the beginning of songs.
In a world where music is constantly touched up to reach perfection, an album that allows imperfections to come through can be a little refreshing.
The album includes many similar themes and ideas to classic country songs.
Many of the songs included in “The Long Road Home” talk about drinking whiskey, Budweiser beer and driving trucks, like in the song “Don’t Overdrink It.”
Unlike mainstream country songs, Worsnop avoids the pop-dance themes.
The song “I Feel Like Shit” is an upbeat play on a traditional country song.
The song has the traditional “tinny-twangy” sound associated with unedited guitar that grounds the music.
Yet there is also an upbeat driving bassline that brings images of small towns and makes the listener want to get up and dance.
The single from the album “I Got Bones” and the song “Midnight Women” tap into the blues background that helped build the rock style that Warsnop is more famous for.
At first listen, these songs have a very classic rock sound.
Calm segments are broken by guitar riffs and solos.
There is a raw, slightly distorted (but not edited) sound to some of the songs.
Yet listening closely you can hear very simple blues patterns and the lyrics speak to country music themes like hard-work and spending time with the people you love.
This album also has a dark streak running through it.
Fans of Asking Alexandria know that Worsnop left the band because of issues dealing with alcoholism and drugs as well as fights with band members.
Many of the songs on “The Long Road Home” were written while Worsnop was trying to deal with and battle his addiction and internal demons.
These struggles can be heard in songs like “High” and “Quite a While.”
“High” tells the story of someone who has fallen from grace and lost much of their success, family and friends, referencing the fall that Worsnop suffered after leaving Asking Alexandria.
Many country songs talk about relationships with God and religion’s place in our lives.
“Quite A While” takes a different path and talks about someone who has lost their relationship with God.
The speaker looks to God for help but also mentions that they haven’t prayed “in quite a while.”
“The Long Road Home” is Warsnop’s successful attempt at putting his life back together.
As someone who normally doesn’t enjoy country music I can honestly say that I enjoyed the album and think all music fans will enjoy it as well.