Brent Daniels – Every Road Has a Turn
Brent Daniels first harbored dreams of playing music in front of people at the age of seven. It’s a common story. It isn’t so common, however, to possess his talents nor put those dreams aside and come back to them after walking another path for some years. Producer Robyn Robins heard about Daniels and set up studio time to begin recording the appropriately named Every Road Has a Turn for his first full length album. They’ve gathered a dozen songs for the project that give Daniels a chance to stretch his vocal wings out wide and cover familiar ground for a commercial audience. The release could have probably stood to be a little shorter to better concentrate its quality, but the level of skill and first class presentation on display here make this one of the most formidable debuts in recent history.
It kicks off in memorable fashion with the combination of “My First Friday Night” and “My Truck’s Bigger than Your Truck”. There aren’t many two songs more different than this. Daniels, before we’re even three songs into the album, shows two distinct faces to the audiences and his footing is just as steady in both areas. He’s working alongside some of the genre’s top instrumental talent, but it doesn’t tweak his confidence in anyway. He carries himself off delving deep into the first song, living in the experience of Dallas Davidson’s lyrics, while the second track creates a chance for him to throw any pretense aside and just let go of a real lung-buster vocal. “Party at the End of the Road” doesn’t go in for any of the clichéd rock guitar poses heard in “My Truck’s Bigger Than Your Truck”, but the attitudes driving both songs couldn’t be any more similar. Daniels attacks this vocal even harder, plowing through the demanding pace like someone inspired and totally giving himself over to the musical moment.
The drumming is key to the success of a lot of songs on Every Road Has a Turn and Daniels wisely plays to those moments. Listen to how well the drumming complements his vocal on the song “Long Way from Leaving”, especially during the transition into the song’s chorus. It isn’t overstated, it doesn’t come leaping out of a speaker, but it’s one of the best examples of why the songs on Daniels’ debut work so well. “One Big Party” has a lightly handled anthemic quality; this isn’t as much of an aspiring stadium stomper like the earlier “My Truck’s Bigger than Your Truck”. The tone of the track is solidly country and Daniels brings a lot of personality to his vocal to help further get it over. “Young, Wild, and Crazy” comes from a similar place musically but there’s a little more rock and roll creeping in here than we hear in the previous cut. “Everything About You” gets down with a surprisingly R&B’ish groove during the verses before returning to familiar territory for one of the album’s best choruses. Daniels shows a easy facility for changing vocal gears on this one that will catch the ear of many.
“Need a Little Love Right Now” lets him show off the same vocal fireworks powering the earlier “Party at the End of the Road”. The lyrics aren’t as shallow and there’s a lot more of a character or voice to work with here, but it’s equally entertaining thanks to the verve in Daniels’ voice and another killer performance from the musicians. Telling the ex off songs rarely come as good as the album’s finale “I’ve Been Gone”, but there’s some subtleties here for listeners who want to find them. Brent Daniels craves commercial success, there’s no crime in that, and he further sweetens the pot by also insisting that he’s an individual through his music and marking each song with a signature sound. Every Road Has a Turn is one of the year’s best releases in this genre.
9 out of 10 stars