Album Review: Old Dominion - "Meat And Candy"

Posted By Matt Bjorke on Friday November 06, 2015 at 01:03PM PST

We take a deeper look at the debut album from the chart-topping newcomers here!

When Old Dominion released their self-titled EP this time last year, they were independent and only showcased five songs from their deep well of songs to choose from. Cut to a year later and the band's on RCA Records and has just released Meat And Candya diverse record which contains four of the EP’s tracks including the #1, Gold-selling break-out single “Break Up With Him.” Like the EP, this eleven track album was produced by Old Dominion’s friend and collaborator Shane McAnally (Kacey Musgraves, Sam Hunt) and it allows the band to show the breadth of their artistry over these 11 songs.

Each song on the album was written by lead vocalist Matthew Ramsey but guitarist Brad Tursi, multi-instrumentalist Trevor Rosen also co-write many here and the lead single, “Break Up With Him” was written by the entire band (which also includes Geoff Sprung and Whit Sellers). “Snapback” has a jingle-jangle, charming melody and lyric about a guy who is fixated on a cute, clumsy girl and how she’s making him feel. “Half Empty” has a similar jovial melody and this time, it finds Ramsey playing the part of a guy who is wanting to know if a girl he’s just met is available or not, all told in a unique, different way. The massive immediate hit to my ears (at least for the new tracks not featured on the EP) is “Said Nobody.” There’s a bit of a calypso meets country/soul feel to the melody which backs up clever lyrics about the various ways people have fun and that that fun is never said in things like “I’m tired of having fun” and “You’re getting too flirty, you’re getting just a little too close.”

The previously-released tracks from the EP include “Wrong Turns,” “Break Up With Him,” “Beer Can In A Truck Bed,” and “Nowhere Fast.” All are potential hits (one already is) and have unique identifiers to them that help Old Dominion stand out from the pack at country music. The band’s unique blend of harmony, clever, charming lyrics and melody are showcased as well on “Crazy Beautiful Sexy,” “Til It’s Over” and closer “We Got It Right.”

It’s been a while since I’ve honestly been able to say that any song on an album could be a hit on country music radio but that’s clearly the case with Old Dominion’s Meat And Candy. There’s not a bad track on the album and should be the beginning of a long, successful career as a band (the members Matt hew Ramsey, Brad Tursi, Trevor Rosen, bassist Geoff Sprung and drummer Whit Sellers were already successful A-list songwriters).