Coming off of the high from Front Row Seat, Josh Abbott Band has finally released their 5th album, Until My Voice Goes Out. I was nervous, as I am a huge fan of the previous album, that this album would not be able to compare but it certainly does not disappoint. On this album Josh and the guys introduce a horn section that is a step in the right direction in terms of separating this one from their previous albums while still holding on to the solid Texas Country sound that his fans have come to love.
This year I have spent A LOT of time at JAB shows (in fact the only months that I haven’t seen his show was February and September) and each show is more incredible than the last. I first heard some of his new material while he was touring the west coast in March and I have to admit, I replayed ‘I’m Your Only Flaw’, from the terrible video I took on my phone over and over again. It got me so excited for this album to release. August 18th could not come fast enough and when it finally did, I made sure to make it out to Denton to finally hear it live.
Enough about me though, let’s talk about this album. The only negative thing I have to say about the album is that I wish it had come out sooner because I love it. This is such a fun album. It’s the type you play when you are enjoying backyard parties, drinking beers and having a good time with friends. Fortunately for me though, Texas is backyard party weather 90% of the year, so the late summer release really won’t stop those things from happening.
The entire album is so signature Josh Abbott style despite adding the horns. A lot of times you see artists making more drastic changes when it comes to later albums and I am so glad that he didn’t take on some of the Nashville hick-hop, pop BS that a lot of people are moving toward. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with an artist evolving, but I love that Josh is staying true to this sound. Mostly because, JAB is typically what I turn to when I need to feel good and smile and I can’t do that with bro-country.
Something else we haven’t seen from Josh Abbott before are instrumental pieces, but he has added three with this album. Although I wouldn’t normally associate these type of songs on a fun light-hearted album, somehow it works. I recall hearing Prelude: An Appreciation of Life for the first time and immediately falling in love it. It felt like it was preparing me for the show that was about to take place. It’s calming but toward the end the strings pick up pace and I feel myself engaging and eagerly awaiting the curtain to open on the first song.
I will have to say that my favorite song from the album is the title track, Until My Voice Goes Out. It’s the song for when you finally free yourself enough to admit that you can’t live without someone else. Or the moment when you are pouring everything you have out to that person saying “I want you!” The song is such a beautiful declaration and I love it! In just over four minutes it perfectly sums up what every romantic movie tries to build up to for 2 hours.
Finally, I can’t talk about this album without at least mentioning Ain’t My Daddy’s Town. For those of you who don’t know, Josh lost his father earlier this year and though he didn’t write this song, it’s clear how much he relates to it. As someone who was raised by a single dad, this will get ya in the feels. I listened to a podcast recently where Josh talks about this song and how strangely/perfectly it aligned with the passing of his dad and how he ended up deciding to use this song on the album (fair warning though, if you don’t know of Wheeler Walker Jr, he tends to have some R- rated content) So if you are interested in listening to the story behind this song check out his interview here (if you aren’t into WWJr you can fast forward to the end with about 4 and a half minutes left when they discuss it).
This is a great album. It’s different but it still feels like home at the same time. You get the fun songs like Heartbeatin’ and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot but you also get the sweet love songs that Josh is so FREAKISHLY good at like Dance with You All Night Long (which is my personal favorite of those songs because I’m a sucker for a good waltz). This is the moving on after Front Row Seat, and it’s clear that life gets much better.
Well done JAB!