Ryan Curtis effortlessly threads together diverse influences to create something entirely his own on Ain't Ever Easy, a testament to his ability to traverse the sonic highways of country music with unrivaled finesse.
Ryan Curtis' sophomore album, Ain't Ever Easy, kicks off with a rip-roaring declaration of country funk prowess on "Can't Take Back." The track's sinewy, groove-laden rhythm sets the stage for an electrifying musical journey that exemplifies Curtis' signature "alt-country from the high country" ethos. With the aura of a robust locomotive pulling into a sunbaked desert station, the song showcases Curtis' mastery of vintage musical machinery, delivering a sonic experience that's as evocative as it is irresistible.
The heart of "Can't Take Back" throbs with a contagiously sultry pulse, a backbeat that struts with a swagger far more seductive than your typical breakup anthem. Curtis deftly weaves regret and euphoria into an intoxicating tapestry, revealing a skill for transforming raw emotion into molten-hot musicality. His ability to craft powerfully engaging songs from the raw materials of love and loss is nothing short of remarkable.
Over the past decade, Curtis has deftly made a home within the world of country music. His gravelly, weathered vocals lend themselves to vivid narrative storytelling, painting cinematic portraits of enigmatic characters from the heartland and beyond. His lyrical canvases are populated by figures straight out of picaresque tales: the down-and-out townies, the drifting souls haunting dimly lit barrooms, the star-crossed lovers navigating the labyrinth of heartache, and the resolute loners traversing life's dusty roads. Curtis transforms these mournful motifs into sonic gold, crafting songs that resonate with an authenticity that's difficult to match.
The brilliance of Curtis' albums lies in his remarkable ability to traverse the vast landscape of country sub-genres, effortlessly gliding between ballads that tug at the heartstrings, evocative western melodies that transport you to another era, honky-tonk numbers that make you want to dance away your troubles, and country-rock tracks that pulse with infectious energy. Ain't Ever Easy emerges as a masterful showcase of this versatility, a testament to his growth and evolution as an artist.
As the album unfurls its musical panorama, it becomes abundantly clear that Ain't Ever Easy is a crowning achievement in Ryan Curtis' body of work. With each track, he demonstrates an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of different country music strands, weaving them into a cohesive tapestry that celebrates the genre's rich heritage while pushing its boundaries.