Smith & Myers // Vol 1 & 2 // Album Review 20/10/2020 Album Review, News 317 Smith & Myers // Vol 1 & 2 // Album ReviewSmith & Myers // Vol 1 & 2 // Album Review9Smith & Myers // Vol 1 & 2 // Album Review9Smith & Myers // Vol 1 & 2 // Album Review9Smith & Myers // Vol 1 & 2 // Album Review9Smith & Myers // Vol 1 & 2 // Album Review92020-10-209Overall ScoreReader Rating: (6 Votes)8.9Smith & Myers for those not in the know are multi-platinum artists Brent Smith and Zach Myers (one half of Shinedown) and thrust into the chaos that is 2020, they had time to expand on their previous exploits together in Acoustic Sessions EP’s ‘1 & 2. Vol.1 Their first full-length recording as a duo came out in the most turbulent of times in our recent history, the cluster fuck that is 2020, Covid-19, and the out spilling of emotion following the death of George Floyd in America which gripped the nation and beyond, artists alike poured their emotions onto paper and into songs to get through this the only way they knew how. Smith & Myers were no different, the albums opening track written in the aftermath of Floyd’s death was a catalyst and launchpad for these albums and a tool to survive 2020. 3 minutes 39 seconds of pure angst, frustration, and heart-felt pleas resonate right from the off. The albums are a collection of originals and covers that were fan picked favorites, ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ is a beauty, Neill Young’s classic reimagined with a dark emotive take just hits you in the chest like a hammer blow, the duo just takes it to another level. There are no compromises here, the production is flawless, allowing for the quality of both the musicianship and songwriting to resonate, Smith’s vocals pierce through and grip you from the first sone to the last. The emotion on tracks like ‘The Weight Of It All’ makes their mark. Post Malone’s ‘Better Now’ gets it treatment in the Smith & Myers signature way and they make it their own, Tears For Fears ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ is another fan chosen to track and rightly so, the guys make an indelible mark on this track with a haunting rendition along with The Zutons classic ‘Valerie’ where the guys take your mind of the daily grind with an upbeat take and will have you dancing in your kitchen in no time. ‘Since You Were Mine’ is the penultimate track on Vol.1 and is an emotive number reminiscing about lost love before we wrap up with an infamous track in the Righteous Brothers ‘Unchained Melody’ which I must admit I never thought I would hear the Shinedown frontman cover. But after all this is 2020 and surreal is the new normal. Credit where credit is due, it is a classic, and Smith’s take is a sublime take on the original version. Vol.2 We kick off once again with storytelling at it’s finest in ‘Bad At Love’ a chilled out opener about failed relationships, the album just like Vol.1 has fan-voted favorite cover tracks and we’re right in there with a cover of Billie Elish’s ‘Bad Guy’, I must admit she’s an artist that is absolutely lost on me but I d like the cover versions other artists have done of her work, weird right? The boy’s original numbers hot the mark too and showcase the quality as a duo but also a wealth of experience that brings these tracks to life and gives them credibility all of their own. Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ is up next with a stripped back take, simplified and beautiful in its own right. GBL GBD is another original that is a real banger, catchy, melodic beauty that will have you warbling along at the top of your voice before Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell’ catches you out, its dark twisted acoustic take will stop you in your tracks. Smiths vocals once again are sublime. ‘Like You Never Left’ once again lifts the spirits with another timeless melody that will envelope you like a warm blanket before REM’s ‘Losing My Religion’ cuts like a knife, a chilling take on the now infamous song strips it back even further and the duo lay down a truly beautiful rendition of an already emotive song. A testament to their ability to interpret such established songs and still bring their signature style to the fore. ‘One More Time’ takes the tempo back up with a high energy track to get you back on your feet before we wrap up proceedings with Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger.’ This brings to a conclusion two stellar recordings, a fusion of original and unique cover versions that flow beautifully across the twenty tracks. Smith & Myers have put together a stunning collection of songs to distract us all from this forgettable year, a year of Covid-fatigue, political bullshit, distrust, and confusion, so take a breather and let yourself give in to this majestic collection of songs, envelope yourself in their acoustic simplicity, quality and switch off for a while. You won’t regret it. The physical formats – CD and vinyl – combine Volumes 1 and 2 into one package, with the CD available to purchase on 23rd October. The 180-gram vinyl will be released on the 13th November courtesy of Atlantic Records. TRACKLIST VOL.1 01. NOT MAD ENOUGH 02. ROCKIN’ IN THE FREE WORLD 03. THE WEIGHT OF IT ALL 04. BETTER NOW 05. PANIC! 06. NEVER TEAR US APART 07. COAST TO COAST 08. VALERIE 09. SINCE YOU WERE MINE 10. UNCHAINED MELODY VOL.2 01. BAD AT LOVE 02. BAD GUY 03. NEW SCHOOL SHIVER 04. SLEDGEHAMMER 05. GBL GBD 06. REBEL YELL 07. LIKE YOU NEVER LEFT 08. LOSING MY RELIGION 09. ONE MORE TIME 10. DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.