The latest single from Brent Daniels’ Every Road Has a Turn, “Party at the End of the Road”, has been paired with a video that does an excellent job of underscoring the song’s strengths and Daniels’ own merits as a performer. Rather than wasting its time with some corresponding narrative to fit the lyrics, Daniels’ video lets the song stand on its own and presents viewers with a sampling from a stage act that, if he brings this sort of commitment to bear every time he performs, will soon make him one of the most in-demand musical artists working in his chosen genre. This is boisterous country rock with an emphasis on the rock side of the ledger and Daniels has more than enough voice to carry its muscular stomp. He also projects enormous stage presence and charisma that helps the tune get over even more.
The lighting in this video mimics what we would likely see in a live performance from Daniels, but the most important element of its staging is the editing style and how it conforms to Daniels’ stage performance. He’s every bit as kinetic as the restless cutting that characterizes the video. It might be a staple of music video production, but the jump cut method of editing doesn’t complement every song at the level it does here. Opting for the less is more approach, as well, will help get the song over more. The relatively dark soundstage isn’t adorned with an assortment of bells and whistles to distract viewers and, instead, their attention falls on the song and performers. His collaborators in the video respond to the music with every bit of the same energy Daniels offers, but his performance is mesmerizing. Daniels’ swagger borders on the assertive at times and, despite this not being a true live performance, it’s clear that he has the authority as a performer to effectively lead a band and ingratiate himself to audiences.
Having such a great song to build around helps immensely. “Party at the End of the Road” doesn’t remake the wheel as a tune, but it is a model of what makes a successful country rock anthem. One, likewise, cannot accuse it of lofty poetic ideals, embracing as it does nothing more than the fun of community and having a party, but it’s nonetheless put together in a highly intelligent way and definitely understands its intended audience. The song never flirts with self indulgence. Daniels is direct from the first and puts this song over with plenty of vocal muscle and a blast of good time joy. “Party at the End of the Road” empathizes the strengths of Every Road Has a Turn and shows enough of Brent Daniels’ musical personality that we can be sure his future is going to be even more impressive. His second album will likely pump all of these elements up even more while retaining all the credibility he’s established with the first album.