Ever since their debut album Meat and Candy rocked the music scene in 2015, fans everywhere have been (not-so-patiently) awaiting the arrival of new music from Old Dominion. The recent release of the band’s sophomore album, Happy Endings, has proven to be well worth the wait.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that is far from the truth with this album. The cover art alone—an eclectic, hipster cross-stitched sampler featuring Bigfoot and the Statue of Liberty, among other things—will have listeners curious about the tracks on this album. The collection of songs is exactly what the world needs in this moment. It is nearly impossible to listen to the catchy, clever hooks of this album without casually singing along or flat-out belting them at a stoplight.
Reading the list of top-notch songwriters that lent their talents to the tracks shows the project’s merit before even listening to the first note. In addition to band members Brad Tursi, Matt Ramsey, and Trevor Rosen penning the songs of Happy Endings, their co-writers include some of the band’s favorite collaborators: Ross Copperman, Andrew Dorff, Jesse Frasure, Matt Jenkins, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Jordan Schmidt.
“No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” and “Written in the Sand” haven proven to be radio successes before the album even released. The witty lyrics in “Shoe Shopping” beg a girl to try on a relationship for size and see how it feels, comparing the relationship to high heels, flip flops, penny loafers, and a whole closet full of kicks.
Old Dominion takes something simple and mundane and transforms it into the story of a crazy, spontaneous night with song, “Hotel Key,” and with “New York at Night,” the guys of Old Dominion create a metaphor likening a woman to all of the best things about the city that never sleeps. The next track that follows on the album is “Girl Is a Gun,” a song of clever personification that shows the power a girl possesses when she has a guy wrapped around her finger.
Key lyrics: “She’s harder to handle than you think son / You feel safe when you’re with her / Think twice before you pull the trigger / She feels good in your hand from the first little spark / But guns shoot bullets and bullets break hearts.”
“Be With Me” is a strong and empowering piece, telling a girl that while she could be anything in life—including the president – if she wants, but he would really like her to be with him.
Key lyrics: “Like your daddy told you when you were a little girl / You could be anything / Why don’t you be with me… / Your momma brought you up in a women’s world / You could be anything / Why don’t you be with me.”
While the whole album is full of gems, the real diamond is one in the middle of the album titled, “Stars in the City.” Upon first listen, it pulls you in with Matt Ramsey’s smooth voice describing the girl who changes his perspective of the world for the better, but it’s the type of song that gets you hooked as you peel away its layers. The writing is impeccable and paints an idyllic picture, so you can already imagine the perfect music video for the song in your head. Little Big Town is vocally featured throughout the song, and their harmonies blended with the velvet voices of Old Dominion is nothing short of a spiritual experience.
While the majority of Happy Endings is filled with positive, feel good tunes, it is rounded out with a classic breakup song with strong rock undertones called “So You Go” and the smooth, grooving “Songs About You.” An added perk is the final track “Can’t Get You” – the only live track on the album.
Happy Endings is one of the best albums released in the country genre this year and is sure to be well received by country and pop fans alike.