A Thousand Horses, "Southernality" (Republic Nashville)
Southern rock specialists A Thousand Horses pride themselves on being influenced by some of the genre's greats, such as The Black Crowes and The Allman Brothers. You can hear those influences throughout their latest album, "Southernality."
Push play on the album's first track, "First Time," and the listener is treated to a raucous keyboard-fueled song that is uncomfortably close to Black Crowes' "Jealous" in vocals and instrumentals. It's one thing to be influenced by a great band. It's another to get dangerously close to a knockoff.
Thankfully, A Thousand Horses come a bit more into their own on "Smoke," the first single from the album and one that enjoyed country chart success in the United States and Canada. Lead singer Michael Hobby equates a woman to a bad cigarette habit and somehow it fits the band fine. "Sunday Morning" is a solid slow-moving ballad as well.
It's hit-or-miss here, but certainly disappointing when a band this talented elects to perform so close to the style and phrasings of their genre's stalwarts. With more creativity, A Thousand Horses might have been on to something. For now, they're merely on to someone else's something.
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