"Wake Up Call" fittingly starts things off, and includes perhaps his most radio-ready song to date. It's a relentlessly catchy starter, and shows that the arrangements on this offering are going to greatly augment the traditional "guy with a guitar" approach. Light organ and a string section round out a more standard band setup to deliver a rather poppy gem. "Dear Jane" dials the tempo back a bit for a very lush mid-tempo track that begs to be listened to on a long, lazy drive in the country.
Every song seems to battle the others for catchiest one on the album, and title track "Your Side Now" is no exception. Taking a stylistic cue from its predecessor, it continues a relaxed but enjoyable pace. "Rain Or Shine" doesn't necessarily raise the tempo much, but it does shift gears over to a more Americana roots feel, striking a balance somewhere between Roy Orbison and fellow 10 Out Of Tenn member Griffin House.
The piano-driven "Inside These Lines" is an effortlessly rich ballad, sounding both immediately familiar and unique. In a similar way, "Nothing Left To Leave" casts a magical spell, and might be the strongest track of this already strong set of songs. It might also be the most beautiful sad song you'll hear this year. "There's nothing here to see / No more you and me / No sad apologies, when there's nothing left to leave."
Every time I listen to this album, I find myself stopping whatever I'm doing to simply admire a great song. Not to gush too much, but I just wish that happened more often. And at a brief eight songs and thirty-two minutes, I wish this album happened a little more often as well. But here, less is more. There's no filler, and there is nothing extraneous. Just exquisitely simple songs with a piercing beauty. I love that kind of efficiency.