Music review: Midland – ‘Let It Roll’

With the start of the school year and the realization that summer is coming to a quiet close, I searched for a quick pick-me-up to bring a smile back to my face.

Midland’s new album provided the happy vibe that had me forgetting the fading warmth that would soon be replaced with the chill of fall.

For “Let It Roll,” lead vocalist Mark Wystrach, lead guitarist Jess Carson and bassist Cameron Duddy offer up songs that are just as stylish and smooth as the outfits they sport on the cover of the album.

The sophomore effort from the Texas-based trio playfully captures a retro country feel through 14 pleasurable tracks that cover all the needed ingredients for a classic country song.

Love songs like “Fast Hearts and Slow Towns,” “Put the Hurt on Me” and “I Love You, Goodbye” speak to the highs and lows of trying to maintain a good relationship, while “Cheatin’ Songs” stirs up the bitter embers of unfaithfulness with an Eagles’ “Lyin’ Eyes” tone as Wystrach sings, “She’s lyin’ with him and she’s lyin’ to me.” There’s also “Cheatin’ by the Rules,” a track that outlines the proper etiquette for sneaking around.

Good times are highlighted on the title track with a laidback and carefree innocence and “Mr. Lonely,” the album’s lead single, boasts about being Mr. Right at just the right time.

“Fast or slow, they all go good when you’re buzzed,” “Every Song’s a Drinkin’ Song” follows the tear-in-your-beer blueprint with references to country legends Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Hank Williams and Hank Williams Jr.

Life in a band is placed in the spotlight on the guitar-driven “21st Century Honky Tonk American Band.” This rousing number oozes of Southern rock and dishes the details about life on the stage. “Playboy” is cleverly penned as it follows a similar theme of never letting the party stop with more tales of making a little noise on stage and having too much fun in the process.

“Let It Roll” is the perfect cure for anyone suffering from the summertime blues.

Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at clinton43@me.com.

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