Album Review: Ray Scott - Rayality
By: Matt Bjorke (5 STARS)
When listening to Ray Scott's Rayality it's easy to see why the artist has continued to be able to carve out a niche in Country Music. Working on his own Jethropolitan Records, Ray Scott and Dave Brainard (Jamey Johnson, Jerrod Niemann, Brandy Clark) have crafted a strong collection of songs that cannot be considered anything but real, honest-to-god Country Music.
The record starts off with "High Road," a song with a jovial uptempo melody that instantly showcases a singer who may be 'traditional' but is by no means too traditional for country radio. Fans of Jamey Johnson's ?records should find "Grumpy" to their liking. It's a modern country song in the Waylon Jennings style (with a fantastic steel guitar solo). "I Love You Both" is a powerful and romantic song about a man loving both the 'crazy' and 'romantic' sides of his wife. The melody is again not 'too country' for Country radio (What does that MEAN anyway?) and the production sound is unique enough to consider it a potential hit, providing some of the corporate programmers get out of their own way.
"Those Jeans" is currently scoring a lot of airplay on SiriusXM in addition to secondary radio markets and with a charming tale about a corny, forceful pick-up line, the song is making fans want to own it with it increasing sales of this album and the single itself. The song, performed in talking' song style in parts, is one of those "man why didn't I think of that" kind of songs and it's definitely gonna be one that Trace Adkins will wish that he got a hold of. "Gotta Quit Drinkin'" is another jovial track that mixes in some ZZ Top style guitars to a jovial roadhouse country melody and Ray Scott's nothin' but country voice. "Never Wanna Be Without You" is another strong, romantic ballad that can compete with anything else on country radio. It's a song women wanna hear and says things guys who truly love their wives wanna say.
"Still Screamin' My Name," "Rayality" and "Law Man" all follow in "Those Jeans" talking song style to great effect while "Keep On Keepin' On" and "If Hell's Where I'm Headed" end the record on as high a note as one can hope to get from a modern country record. The album, which was released in 2012, is certainly going to come in its own in 2013 with a new label team behind Ray.
Ray Scott could've folded up his tent, went back to his hometown and sung in bars there on weekends but he believed in his talent and so did his group of friends and co-writers in Nashville. It's been a couple of lean years for Ray Scott but with Rayality the singer is following the same DYI template that scored Jamey Johnson and Jerrod Niemann new record deals and new mainstream successes and here's hoping that lightning has indeed struck twice.
Produced by Dave Brainard
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