Young artists White and Day display two sides of country spectrum
by Scott MooreContributing Writer
After a couple of No. 1 singles on the Billboard country charts and an attention-grabbing debut album, 21-year-old Bryan White is back with his follow-up release, Between Now and Forever. What's missing from this one, however, is that spark of youthful spontaneity that was so charming in his first release.
It doesn't start off bad. "Sittin' On Go" is a pleasant, up-tempo rocker, followed by the beautiful "Still Life," but it disintegrates after that. The songs don't stay in your memory, and you can almost hear the mechanics rolling in the background, as if some record exec is standing in the studio saying, "OK, now we need the country ballad about the young couple ..."
The voice is still as pretty as the face, and this album is already doing well on the charts. What's disappointing, though, is that White's talents are wasted on the run-of-the-mill lyrics he writes, which are tailor-made for his vanilla-flavored delivery. He would do well to listen to fellow label-mates Mandy Barnett or Emmylou Harris and ease up on the formulaic radio-driven format.
Curtis Day, however, appears to be an artist who could make the radio format work for him. On his self-titled debut album, he borrows richly from the styles of fellow Beaumont-ites George Jones and Mark Chestnutt.
Day's vocals on songs like "Living Well Beyond My Means" and "The Cowboy Stomp" are rough-cut and energetic. On "The Truth is Hard To Swallow," his voice shows enough pathos and sincerity to make it as believable as it is beautiful.
While the album won't break any ground or start any trends, it does showcase an artist I personally would like to hear more from in the future. White may be the more popular vocalist, but Day delivers the goods in down-home, Texas style.