Blazing beats crush us with their sonic intensity as “No Stopping Us Now” sears its melodic crunch into the airspace and opens up Nathan King’s brand new album All Eyes on You. The tempo emits an urgency that encourages us to swing to the gargantuan grooves that the drums are pushing out swaggeringly, and though “Just One Night” slows down the pace for a second, it doesn’t take very long for this second track to pick up where its predecessor left off. The hook is sleek and stunningly tender, but it’s only a taste of what we’ve got coming our way in the super-thick “Redneck,” which by itself would serve as reason enough to acquire a copy of All Eyes on You this month.
“Redneck” is brash, bold and capable of battering anything that gets in the way of its flame-throwing rhythm. The title track kicks off in a vacuum of percussion that is quite reminiscent of “Jack and Diane,” but once we get into the meat of the song, its hard rock riffing takes on a very contemporary sway that has little – if anything – in common with the old school. The first single from All Eyes on You, “I Don’t Drink Like I Used To,” is actually one of the more conservative tracks on the album, but despite its minimalist delivery, it isn’t lacking in muscularity. The chorus is the most multifaceted portion of the whole record, and the music video for the song lives up to the highbrow nature of its source material excellently.
We get back into dirge-laden country rock grooves with “Run It Down,” a beefed-up blues number that has been stylized for the Nashville audience. Interestingly, this slab of outlaw country prefaces the almost ambient pop-influenced serenade of “Last First Kiss,” a track that I find to be the most perplexing and poignant of any that Nathan King has ever recorded. The beats are steeped in electronic textures, the riffs are larger than life and filtered through a scooped, heavy metal EQ, and the vocal is left pristine and undisturbed by all the discord in the eye of the storm. “425” injects All Eyes on You with a bit of folk harmonies, but in the shadow of “Last First Kiss,” it gives up only a fraction of the chills that the previous song does.
“Outskirts In” is the alternative country fan’s go-to track in this record, and its rollicking rhythm is perhaps the most dance-inducing of any that we hear on the LP. A melancholic drawl finishes us off in “Teal,” and though this song is a lot less vibrant and colorful than the nine that came before it, its hypnotic vocal harmony lingers in my mind after each and every listen that I’ve afforded to All Eyes on You. Nathan King is operating on an entirely new level on this latest release, and though he’s shown quite a bit of promise as a songwriter before this album, I don’t know that he’s ever given us the caliber of content that each of these ten tracks possess. This is his best work yet, and it’s definitely a worthwhile listen for any country aficionados looking for new music this season.