Spencer Crandall ‘Western’ – Album Review
Spencer Crandall’s new album, Western is out now, October 21st on all streaming platforms. Take a listen and read our full review below.
For independent artist, Spencer Crandall, his fourth studio album, Western, is his most ambitious project yet. On the twenty track collection, he explores his vulnerable side, dividing the album into six chapters: Scorpion, Mustang, Revolver, Pickaxe, Desert and Gold.
“I strive to create songs and tell stories that impact people’s lives in a meaningful way, and to say I’ve put my entire heart into this album would be an understatement,” He reveals in a recent press release. “My fans can expect the most vulnerable, energetic and authentic version of myself that I have ever put out, and I’m so honored that I get to tell these stories and share them with the world.”
Released today, October 21, the autobiographical journey follows Crandall through pain and triumph, themes including love lost, therapy, addiction, and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Throughout the collection, listeners are taken on a unique journey, as Crandall explores topics often taboo in country music.
There’s the deeply-personal “Enough,” which finds the singer-songwriter endlessly vulnerable as he admits to seeking self-acceptance in social media likes, video views, and money, finally settling into his skin as he realizes his own self-worth. “The smiles in all the photos that I’m taking, reflect the picture-perfect life that I’ve been faking,” He admits. “If the streams and shows and follows all dried up, I’m still enough.”
The album opens with the smoky intro track, “There is a Fire,” which immediately leads into “K(no)w Better” and “Get Away,” part of the album’s Scorpion chapter. Here he tackles his vices, admitting that he “knows better, but he’s no better.” Meanwhile, “Get Away From Me” has him dealing with all of the insecurities and vices that he desperately wants to push away, but instead chooses to stay busy to get them to go away.
Likewise, the reflective “7 and 70” has him grappling with being a people pleaser who fails to put himself first, as he realizes that the only person he has to impress is himself at different points in life. “If I could talk to a younger me, I’d want to be the man that he wants to be // I’d want to tell him he got more// Than everything he prayed for // And if I walked with the man that I’ll become // I want him to be proud of all we done // There are only two opinions that matter to me // And that’s me at 7 and 70.”
Much of the album has Crandall dealing with a broken heart, love lost, and an on-again, off-again fling. This happens on songs like “What Do We Do Now?”, “Friends,” “Future in the Past,” No New Memories,” and “Red Flags.”
On “What Do We Do Now?,” he finds himself wondering about the logistics of a breakup and what to do next. It’s utterly relatable yet often not touched on in songs. “If we stay friends, I can’t pretend that I’m over you,” He admits. “But I can’t stand the thought of moving on without you in my life.” Meanwhile “Friends” finds him musing that he and an ex should’ve never crossed the line to being more than just friends since things didn’t quite work out.
On the heartbreaking “Future in the Past,” he deals with the loss of things that never happened, like wedding gifts and baby names, while “No New Memories” has him moving on from a failed relationship, despite missing out on the possibility of new moments. “What’s the point of starting over if there’s no new memories to make?” Likewise, “Girls Like You” is about a girl he met at a bar, who has moved on when he hasn’t. “What was I thinking when I said we needed a break? Did I really expect any guy in the city to wait?”
On “To Be Continued,” he finds himself and the ex in an on-and-off situation that they both know will result in a late-night drunk dial. Meanwhile, “Red Flags” boasts a clever lyric about a girl who has shown her true side. “I took off my rose-colored glasses,” He sings. “I see your red flags.”
It’s not all sadness on Western, however, as Crandall dreams of a soulmate on “Made,” revealing that true love is worth fighting for. He also continues his introspection on “Side of the Stage,” which finds him longing for a hugely successful career, but also finds him searching for someone to share it with as he wonders “What’s it worth at the end of the day if there ain’t nobody at the side of the stage?” He’s vulnerable here as he admits that he gets so lost in chasing the dream that he fails to be a good son, sibling, and friend.
One of the album’s clear highlights is the driving and catchy “Didn’t Do,” an ode to seizing the day and not playing things too safe.
“I wanna give my heart away like it ain’t gonna break // Let someone in even if it ends // Rather end up penniless, chasing my bucket list // ‘Cause overtime’s never time well spent // I’ll take the pounding headache, hangover // Over missing out on late nights // ‘Cause the nights I remember, end with a sunrise // Took me wondering what if to know it’s true // Rather regret what I did than what I didn’t do”
While Crandall co-wrote 18 of the album’s 20 tracks, the two he didn’t write are surprising cover choices: Justin Bieber and Shania Twain. His cover of Bieber’s “Anyone” is sure to be a highlight of any live show, while his take on Twain’s “You’re Still the One” is a celebration of his parents’ long marriage.
On Western, Spencer Crandall takes listeners on a unique musical journey that’s sure to endear him to his ever-growing fanbase while also winning over tons of new listeners.
Spencer Crandall – Western Track List:
- “There is A Fire” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Nathan Johnson, Asher Peterson, Jonah Oh
- “K[no]w Better” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Lydia Dall, Royale Lynn, Jeff Cherry
- “Get Away From Me” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Michael August, Carlo Colasacco
- “The Ballad of the Mustang” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Lydia Dall
- “Didn’t Do” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Haley Mae Campbell, Lydia Dall
- “7 and 70” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Aubrey Toone, Charlie Brennan
- “What Do We Do Now?” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Scott Porter, Joe Tounge
- “Friends” // Spencer Crandall, Joe Tounge, Nate Dodge
- “Girls Like You” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Joe Tounge, Lauren McLamb
- “No New Memories” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Gus Ross, Luke Eisner
- “Future in the Past” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Joe Tounge, Lauren McLamb
- “To Be Continued…” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Joe Tounge, Nate Dodge
- “Red Flags” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Gus Ross, Luke Eisner
- “Made” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Andrew Beason, Ian McConnell, Jeff Cherry
- “You’re Still The One” // Written by Shania Twain, Robert John Lange
- “Side of the Stage” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Lydia Dall, Lauren McLamb
- “Enough” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Austin Brown, Jeffrey East, Steven Martinez
- “Getting There” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Tofer Brown, Lauren Huntgate
- “Anyone” // Written by Justin Bieber, Jonathan Bellion, Andrew Wotman, Alexander Izquierdo, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Michael Pollack, Raul Cubina
- “Our Forever” // Written by Spencer Crandall, Kelly Archer, Rhett Akins
Country Swag Picks:
- Didn’t Do
- What Do We Do Now?
- 7 and 70
- Side of the Stage
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Spencer Crandall will hit the stage at NYC’s Mercury Lounge on December 7. For tickets, tour dates, and more, visit his official website here.
To keep up with Spencer Crandall, follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Western 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.