The debut album from Brent Daniels’, Every Road Has a Turn, is a twelve song release of wildly entertaining modern country. It’s the product of a singer and musician who has embraced music’s transformative power from an early age. He has tasted enough of life’s experiences to give him a keen sense of what the album’s more thoughtful songs need while unbridled youthful energy fills the simpler, more jovial numbers. There’s an equal amount of art and entertainment comfortably co-existing side by side on Every Road Has a Turn and the production job from famed studio wizard Robyn Robins gives these songs, even the quieter tracks, a larger than life spirit that’s certain to draw attention from country radio and a vast swath of potential listeners.
Songs the quality of “My First Friday Night” virtually sells the album single-handedly. This track, like so many others on Every Road Has a Turn, comes from a school of top shelf Nashville songwriting blending modern touches with hallmark elements from classic country music. Daniels isn’t trying to remake the wheel; every song on this debut reaffirms the fundamentals while still containing a ruggedly individualistic spirit. His spirit gets a real workout on the bold and brash country rocker “My Truck is Bigger than Your Truck”, but as tough-nosed as the music might be, Daniels is the star here thanks to his charismatic and ear-catching vocal delivery. One of Daniels’ primary subjects is the customary end of love track and few performers on the modern country scene do it better. It’s the songwriting, once again, that gives him something to work with and “Long Way from Leaving” is a tight, well-written example of the form that he knocks out of the park. He’s a great singer with technique to burn, but he’s also capable of simply cutting loose and singing from the gut in a spirited way still capable of capturing the song’s emotional truth.
The album is full of songs carefully selected and tailored for accessibility. Few are more open to the audience than “One Big Party”. It is, in some ways, a riff on earlier material, but it’s not quite as shallow and makes a subtle life affirming statement that Daniels conveys sincerely without even a hint of irony. “Young, Wild, and Crazy” keeps its musical footing on the rollicking country side of the fence and doesn’t go in for the lightly inspired rock vibe on other similar songs. The vocal is, once more, the real star of the musical show and he bobs and confidently weaves through the changes. One of the real aching, heartbreaking tracks on Every Road Has a Turn is the exquisitely rendered “Hold On” while its follow up, “Need a Little Love Right Now”, expresses a similar emotion with a slightly stronger groove. Brent Daniels ends his debut with the song “I’ve Been Gone”. It reminds us of the same strengths we heard in the album’s earliest cuts – the solid construction and his ability to make the most vocally of arrangements put together with so well. This is a performer and musician positioning himself for the long haul. The genre hasn’t heard a singer this talented emerge in quite some time.
by Lydia Hillenburg