- 07 Oct 19
Tyler, The Creator
Building on the success of 2017’s Purgatory, an album that updated the classic Bakersfield sound with the help of the psychedelic Waylon, Sturgill Simpson, Country Squire is country music without the shiny hats and brand new pickup in the front yard, good old stuff from a couple of good ole boys.
Ignore the atrocious cover and get down to business with the title track, which kicks off with Merle – Haggard and Travis - guitar licks before singing the praises of a 53 year-old camper van he’s trying to fix up for his missus. There’s pedal steel and some Floyd Cramer piano too, which should be all you need to know. ‘Bus Route’ sports jew’s harp, dobro, and fiddle, there’s a bloke forlornly drinking whiskey in a bar in ‘Creeker’, and “part of him wants to live forever on the road” in ‘Gemini’ although that title reveals he’s in two minds about the whole thing.
Things get even better with the fiddle-driven acoustic whirl of the single ‘House Fire’, our man’s back moaning about the road on the shuffle of ‘Ever Lovin’ Hand’, and ‘Peace Of Mind’ offers escape from dark days through the kind of herb that Willie Nelson adds to all his cooking. ‘All Your’n’ – seek out the video, it seems those mushrooms had more in them than expected – is a country love song full of sunshine, and the fireside ode to ordinary living, ‘Matthew’, closes things out at a trim the-way-albums-are supposed-to-be 35 minutes.
Tyler and co-producers Simpson and David R. Ferguson (everyone from Eddy Arnold to U2) have if anything improved on the last record. This is the kind of thing you’d expect to hear on the jukebox in whatever bar in the beyond Waylon, Merle and Johnny are laughing in. Superb.