Album Spotlight: Old Dominion, ‘Meat and Candy’
Old Dominion’s Meat and Candy album is packed full of hooky, R&B-inspired country songs about love hard and soft. The best songs are bite-sized, sugar-coated ear worms that spin familiar themes in a fresh way.
Meat and Candy is a very snackable album that’s easy to keep on repeat for an entire day —nothing is sweet enough to give one a belly ache. Conversely, there’s very little that will hush a room, or a car, or one’s mind even. Instead, you’ll need to fight to keep from singing along to songs like “Snapback,” “Said Nobody” and “Beer Can in a Truck Bed.”
Singer Matt Ramsey is an engaging vocalist, and he’s supported by great harmonies — especially high harmonies. For this reason the narrow range he works in never grows tiresome. Sharp songwriting also keeps the sound from getting stale. It’s such a defined sound that that’s a real threat, but one they seem to recognize and work around.
Even emotional ballads like “Nowhere Fast” and “Wrong Turns” turn into singalongs. It’s an album built by a band that prioritizes their live show, filled with songs you look forward to shouting. The polished production acts as their sixth member. As much as any song on Meat and Candy, producer Shane McAnally's gloss defines the album. Every note comes sharp and full of purpose.
Key Tracks: "Snapback," "Break Up With Him," "Song for Another Time"
Confusion: No one at the group's record label objected to calling the band's debut Meat and Candy. “There were a couple (of people) like, if you’re eating in front of your dog and it turns its head sideways like, ‘Huh?’” the band says.
Did You Know?: "Break Up With Him" is the only song of the 11 that didn't get pitched to another artist. Old Dominion knew that song was special, and it ultimately became their first No. 1 hit.
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