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David Nail Review at urbancountryblog.com
David Nail- I’m About to Come Alive
31/2 out of 5 Guitars
August 17, 2009
Debut albums are tricky. They are usually a collection of songs the artist has been working on for years and often end up uneven making it difficult to get to know the artist. But after listening to David Nail’s debut ‘I’m About to Come Alive’ you know exactly what kind of artist he is.
Modern country songs grown in Delta mud, David’s music deals with familiar themes: longing for home, relationship difficulties, reminiscing about an ‘easier’ past... The CD opens with the piano-heavy, Marc Cohn-esque ‘Mississippi’. It is immediately clear you are not listening to just another country album.
David’s slightly-nasal-yet-warm voice fits these songs perfectly. They tell stories. They go searching for the emotions buried underneath the surface. Not shying away from deep subjects is why this CD is such breath of fresh air. But even when it talks about simple things, it does so with intelligence.
How a big moment can have a mundane setting is highlighted in first single ‘Red Light’. The ‘don’t give up on me’ plea is touchingly retold on title track ‘I’m About to Come Alive’ as well as ‘This Time Around’. Exploring darker emotions are ‘Strangers on a Train’, dealing with the relationship-taboo of fantasizing about someone else, and ‘Looking for a Good Time’ which reveals the loneliness behind promiscuity.
Some fellow artists have writing credits: the Kenny Chesney co-penned ‘Turning Home’ turns up the melancholy and the fluffy ‘Summer Job Days’ was co-written by Gary LeVox. The latter is one of only two tracks without steel and with its simple lyrics kind of feels out of place here.
Closer ‘Missouri’ is a David Nail solo-effort and if this is a show of his writing talent, I hope the next CD carries many more of these. The song’s self-blame and guilt are quite depressing but I happen to like sad songs and its hurt is part of its beauty.
With its many references to driving, this disc wants to be played in the car. It’s quiet, complex and wise but alive enough to not turn into a pity-party. As far as debuts go, this is an extremely good start to a no-doubt strong career.