Randy Houser ‘Note to Self’ – Album Review
Randy Houser’s new album, Note to Self is out now, November 11th on all streaming platforms. Take a listen and read our full review below.
For Randy Houser, it was a nearly four-year hiatus for the deep-voiced Mississippi native before Friday’s release of Note To Self. Some projects have one overarching theme that is visible in each song, but this record features a collection of individual stories and emotions. Houser co-wrote all ten tracks on the album, touching on various subjects such as love, heartbreak, maturity, and of course, country living.
In the album’s opener, “Still That Cowboy,” the singer reflects on his relationship with his wife, recognizing his imperfections but hoping she still sees him as the man who stole her heart all those years ago. “Take It To The Bank” is another romantic song in which the singer confesses he doesn’t have a lot of money to his name, but the love they share is enough to take it to the bank—the river bank that is, where the two initially fell in love on that July Friday night. Both songs are on the slow/mid-tempo side, with plenty of steel and fiddle sprinkled into the melody.
“Baby, whatcha think? // We got a half a bottle of sweet red wine // A five-pack of beer and a hook on a line // Nah, we ain’t got a dime but we only need a quarter a tank // To take it to the bank”
The title track also served as the lead single. Houser lists all the lessons he has learned over the years that he wishes he applied earlier in life. “Rub A Little Dirt On It” is sort of his response to the single. He discovered that the best way to recover from hard times and heartbreak is to embrace those feelings head-on, crack open a beer, and move on.
“When the world don’t turn your way // Sometimes all you can say // Is rub a little dirt on it // Shake the dust right outta your mind // Let a cool breeze work on it // Ya feel the healing comin’ on right on time”
Although much of the album is slow and heartfelt, Houser gets some fun, energetic, honkytonk tunes on there, such as “Workin’ Man,” “Country Round Here,” and “Out and Down.” The latter starts off with no instruments—just Houser’s baritone vocals with backing bar noise. The singer states that he should be down and out, struggling to get over a breakup, but instead he’s out and down, having a good time at the bar, drowning out her memory in a positive manner. “Workin’ Man” is an ode to the blue-collar workers who bust their butts providing for their families while getting very little in return. They are the ones making all the cash, but are always getting short-changed.
Although a low-point for the singer, the sixth track, “Call Me” is a high point on the album. Depressed from loneliness and heartache, the singer pleads his ex gives him a late-night call, even if she has nothing good to say about him.
“Call me a liar, call me a loser // Call me you no can son of a boozer // Call me the devil, call me a clown // Call me right now and cuss me out // But call me”
Houser’s 2019 record, Magnolia was met with high praise from critics but had underwhelming success in the mainstream, likely due to its traditional sound and personal subject matter. Houser, who found his biggest success with hits in the early/mid-2010s such as “How Country Feels,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” and “We Went,” were much more radio-friendly. Houser clearly sticks to that traditional sound and writes from the heart on this project, but the lyrics feel a little bit more relatable. Like Houser’s incredible, one-of-a-kind vocal talent, Note To Self may be a record that resonates with listeners for years to come!
Randy Houser – Note To Self Track List:
- Still That Cowboy (Randy Houser, Matt Rogers, Josh Hoge)
- Workin’ Man (Randy Houser, Randy Montana)
- Note To Self (Randy Houser, Casey Beathard, Ross Copperman, Bobby Pinson)
- Country ‘Round Here Tonight (Randy Houser, Brice Long, Jeff Hyde)
- Take It To The Bank (Randy Houser, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tindell)
- Call Me (Randy Houser, Paul Overstreet, Andrew Albert)
- Out And Down (Randy Houser, Matt Rogers, Chris DeStefano)
- Rub A Little Dirt On It (Randy Houser, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell)
- American Dreamer (Randy Houser, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
- Remember How To Pray (Randy Houser, Kendell Marvel)
Country Swag Picks:
- Workin’ Man
- Call Me
- Out and Down
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Note to Self is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.