Right from the get-go, Suffer In Peace doesn’t seem like the right title for Tyler Farr’s sophomore effort. The album opens with a song called “C.O.U.N.T.R.Y.,” and there doesn’t look to be much else below that bro-saturated surface. Of course, Farr knows his role. He entered country music in 2013 with a huge hit, “Redneck Crazy.” The rural stalker song felt like a gimmick, and maybe even a one-hit wonder.
Then “A Guy Walks Into a Bar” came along last August. Gone was Farr’s false sense of “macho-ness.” “Redneck Crazy” was insecure, but not in a genuine, vulnerable way like “A Guy Walks Into a Bar” is. The first single off of Suffer In Peace is a clever play on words about the “guy walks into a bar” joke, turning the line into a ballad about failed love. The song as a whole isn’t very original, but it was a step in the right direction for Farr. There are other glimmers of hope on this album, like the title track. Farr is best on his ballads. He sounds truly passionate about what he’s singing.
What is disappointing about Suffer In Peace is how easily it falls into stereotypical country tropes. You know that friend you have that doesn’t listen to country but doesn’t like it anyway because they think it’s all about trucks and beer and America? This is probably the album that they think is at the epicenter of the genre. Farr’s vocal abilities are wasted on bro-anthems like “Better In Boots” and “Damn Good Friends.” It’s not Farr’s fault, but he’s been given some really dull material.
He makes the best of the tracks he was given, though. You wouldn’t know it, but Farr is actually a classically trained vocalist. Songs such as “Raised to Pray,” “Withdrawals,” and “I Don’t Even Want This Beer” showcase his talent to some degree. He has amazing control and, most importantly, a unique sound. While Farr is singing what sounds like Jason Aldean B-sides, he makes them his own. Oddly enough, Aldean himself shows up as a guest on “Damn Good Friends.” It seems like a natural collaboration, which works in Farr’s favor.
Tyler Farr is going to do just fine making these kinds of songs. Still, he has the skill and the passion to do bigger and better things. Hopefully by his third album, he’ll have more to say.