The wait for a new album from Charlie Worsham has been a long one. His debut album Rubberband arrived in 2013 and his song Love Don’t Die Easy became a favourite after it was used in an episode of Bones, which Charlie also starred in. Since then it’s been relatively quiet on the new music front, despite Charlie regularly appearing on this side of the pond for live shows. Four years on from Rubberband, Charlie has recently released the follow-up Beginning of Things but has it been worth the wait?
One of the criticisms I levelled at Rubberband is that it played things very safe. It was by no means a bad record but it didn’t stand out from the pack or showcase Charlie’s personality. That has been rectified on Beginning of Things, which sees Charlie not only injecting personality into his songs but also transcending genres at the same time. There’s sure to be some people who’ll listen to the album and cry ‘this isn’t country’ but those people couldn’t be more wrong. At the heart of every song is a country staple – good old-fashioned storytelling.
The album opens with the short ditty Pants before moving into Please People Please. The groove-laden track sees Charlie declaring that he’s forging his own path and following his gut rather than listening to the voices around him and giving in to the weight of expectations. It sets the scene for the album nicely and it makes it clear that this is an album that is full of true passion, not ticking boxes.
Lead single Cut Your Groove is perhaps the most obvious single choice on the record. It has a radio-friendly feel with a strong melody that connects the material here to that on Rubberband. It’s certainly one of the most traditional songs on the record but lyrically Charlie sings about the ups and downs that life brings.
Two of the best moments on the record come when Charlie lets loose and has a bit of fun. Lawn Chair Don’t Care sees Charlie packing a surprising amount of attitude in a song that’s an homage to the outlaw country sound. Closing track Take Me Drunk I’m Home showcases both Charlie’s incredible musicianship and his knack to deliver a song in a way that separates him from his contemporaries.
Elsewhere on the record Southern By the Grace of God, which embraces a more traditional country feel, explores Charlie’s roots as he reminds the listener ‘you can’t out-Country me’. The song gives plenty of room for Charlie’s musicianship to breathe with an extended instrumental at the end of the song. The moody and subtle Birthday Suit explodes into joyous ‘woo-hoo’ moments during the chorus, Call You Up infuses a bluesy jazz vibe into the melody and title track The Beginning Of Things is a slow-building song built around intricate acoustic riffs.
Beginning of Things is a huge leap forward for Charlie as an artist. You can hear the freedom he felt recording these songs and the music is all the better for it. Charlie doesn’t fit into the typical Nashville mould and that’s one of the things that makes him so distinctive. His knowledge of music and his abilities as a musician allows him more flexibility with his songs. Beginning of Things is a vastly superior record to Rubberband and it’s one that establishes Charlie as a force to be reckoned with in the genre.
Track List: 1. Pants 2. Please People Please 3. Southern By The Grace of God 4. Call You Up 5. Lawn Chair Don’t Care 6. Only Way to Fly 7. Old Times Sake 8. Cut Your Groove 9. I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere 10. The Beginning of Things 11. Birthday Suit 12. I-55 13. Take Me Drunk I’m Home Record Label: Warner Bros Release Date: 21st April 2017