Album Review: Randy Houser - How Country Feels
By: Matt Bjorke
The lack of radio success for They Call Me Cadillac was a perplexing development in the career of Randy Houser. How an artist could go from one of the most-played newcomers of one year to virtually gone the next was strange, particularly when the album he released featured a mix of strong vocal showcases and the uptempo rockers that we knew him for.
As gifted a songwriter as he is a singer, Randy Houser's rise then seemingly disappearing act from Country Radio Stations was surprising, especially given how well the singer was doing at connecting with audiences on the road. When things didn't work out with Show Dog Universal, Randy found a new home with Stoney Creek Records. A little less 'outlaw' in look and perhaps sound than before, Randy's Stoney Creek Records album is nonetheless as impressive as both of his previous Universal albums.
How Country Feels blends contemporary mainstream-ready tunes like "Top Of The World," the #1 (and soon to be Gold selling) title track "How Country Feels" and groove-filled "Runnin' Outta Moonlight" with stunning rockers like "Growin' Younger," "Sunshine On The Line" and "Absolutely Nothin'." The 15 track album is then anchored by emotional, emotive ballads like "The Singer," (a cautionary tale of a woman who falls in love with an idea of being married to a singer, not with the actual life), and "Along For The Ride," a song Randy co-wrote with Zac Brown and Levi Lowrey. "Power Of A Song" showcases the emotional connection and memory hooks that all songs (good or bad) have on us.
In between these songs are strong potential hits like "Wherever Love Goes," the duet with Broken Bow Group Labelmate Kristy Lee Cook, "Goodnight Kiss" and "Like A Cowboy." Blessed with one of Nashville's strongest voices, Randy Houser is a dynamite live performer, an engaging personality with a memorable giggle and now, has a record which undeniably showcases a superstar in the making. His first two records both focused more on the 'artistic' side of his career while How Country Feels showcases a man who is able to deftly balance the fine line of art and commerce.