Writing and recording an album can be, and usually is a difficult thing to accomplish for any artist. It’s not just a matter of finding the inspiration and the music to go (in most of the cases) along with the lyrics, but actually finding the money and the great equipment and team and crew. Add up to that the fact that you are following up on a previous record, and the stakes are higher for both big, established artists as well as the new ones. For old Country soul Ranzel X Kendrick, coming out with a sequel may not be too much of a trouble.
Texas Sagebrush is the second installment of his so called “Texas series,” and just as the first part, the album knows how to capture the essence of what comes to people’s mind when they think about the Lone Star state. There are elements of good ole’ Country music blended with a wide range of styles that goes from Rock N’ Roll to a few subtle Jazz hints here and there. The music on its own it’s pretty minimalistic, with just Kendrick and his guitar, which gives a very intimate vibe to the record as a gathering, a hangout rather than a product.
While the production value is pretty good and the arrangements between each songs gives it a new, fresh spin – the album by the end feels much more suitable for a movie soundtrack. It’s like something is missing and that thing are some great visuals that go along with the music. That in itself isn’t a negative, especially considering in some way this can be considered a conceptual album.
Criteria - 80%
In the end, Texas Sagebrush by Ranzel X Kendrick is a nice follow up to a great album. While many sequels tend to just be a bigger version, with little less to add up to the original – Kendrick actually took on some risks and went the extra mile, by adding on new layers and exploring new musical realms. Ironically, are those same ambitions that at times play against him.