Artist: David Britt
Album: Country Flow
David Britt is a solo artist from Charlotte, North Carolina that has been writing original material since 2009. Britt has released both an EP and a self-titled debut album with a series of singles in between. This second full length album of the solo country artist, titled “Country Flow”, will be released on the Spectra label February 10th. Britt plays both guitar and fiddle on his recordings, and is also aptly responsible for lead vocals and principle songwriting. Britt has also been heavily involved in tennis, having played both in college and professionally. In addition, Britt is a published author, offering titles such as “Before They Play a Grand Slam: Parenting the Junior Tennis Player”. However, as Britt advanced his tennis career, he decided to pursue his great passion for music. Britt doesn’t have a set band and recruits a host of session musicians for his recording process.
David Britt is at his best during his more acoustic driven tracks and when he is playing fiddle; this is probably the best note of advice that could be given in respect to “Country Flow”. Pop country is a masses friendly genre that has proven to do relatively well in the current music market, and this album is in many ways quite comparable musically to one of the bigger acts such as Florida-Georgia Line. Songs from this album such as “Forgive Me Girl” and “When Tennessee Calls” are some of the best examples of Britt’s capabilities as a competent songwriter; mixing clever and tasteful chord progressions and arrangements into simple, yet genuine and warm acoustic pieces. The acoustic, stripped down songs on this album are also where Britt’s voice is at its zenith. An excellent example is the track “Sweet Memories”, where Britt demonstrates his own respectable vocal chops as well as integrating his voice with that of a female harmony; this occurs several times throughout the album and adds a nice layer of depth to most of the pieces. As many know, country music at its most basic is about story telling and strong vocals, especially when complemented by both a man and a woman, really sell the most positive and emotionally meaningful aspects of the genre. The single, “To Hell With Your Love” is one of the more aggressive tunes on the album that isn’t an acoustic piece but has some of the best instrumentation and vocal combinations. Britt is also an excellent fiddle player. It wouldn’t be country without a few blistering fiddle solos, and “Country Flow” certainly lives up to the expectation. The fiddle is quite predominant on this album considering it is one of Britt’s principle instruments, and it is often used intelligently and at the most appropriate of times.
Pop country has always been a confusing genre in that its two main principles; pop and country, are not immediately complementary to one another. Country music at its base is a very grounded and tradition-based discipline while pop is essentially the exact opposite. When these two genres are melded together, things can get a little messy; song writing gets weird and usually pretty corny. Britt’s album, “Country Flow” has plenty examples of the negatives that go along with fusing country and pop music. The first two songs on this album are not very strong, simply put. The instrumentation is alright, considering its mostly session musicians, but the songwriting is far from spectacular. It can be understood that “Country Flow” is just a have fun, feel good song, but adding iPhone references, even to contemporary country music, gives a very trivial message and is a little off-putting. If the words were not the most negative aspect, the rhyme scheme makes the track even less desirable and adds further to the overall level of general silliness that the song displays. The first track on this album would not have been such a blunder if it simply wasn’t the first track. Having a funny, feel good song is perfectly fine, but it probably shouldn’t be the title track on your full length album. Songs such as “She Likes the Oak Ridge Boys”, “Alcoholiday”, and “Mail Man” are further examples of the silliness that this album exhibits, which may be Britt’s poke of fun at the assumption of the stoic and jaded constraints that surround country music, but in many ways it also questions Britt’s reputation as a serious country musician.
Britt is without a doubt a very talented artist, and wrote some great songs on this album. That being said, some may find that there are also some songs on this album that are way to pop for country. True, not every country song has to be about lost love or other serious endeavors, but there is an area of musical legitimacy and respectability of content that Britt may want to re-evaluate from time to time. The acoustic tracks are great and Britt has nice vocal chops and spectacular fiddle talent. However, you will probably find a few tunes on this album that are pretty skip worthy.