Album Review: Little Texas – ‘Young For a Long Time’
December 22, 2016
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2015’s Young For a Long Time is the second post-major label studio album from Little Texas, and like its predecessor, 2007’s Missing Years, it finds Porter Howell taking over lead vocalist duties from the now departed Brady Seals and Tim Rushlow. He is not as gifted a vocalist as his former bandmates, but he does a decent job. Unfortunately, the band’s sound is inevitably changed from what fans were used to, and the album’s material is not particularly inspiring. It’s a country rock effort, with no fiddle or steel anywhere to be found in the track listing.
The band members wrote all of the album’s songs themselves, and also shared production duties with Anthony Martin. The final product is somewhat uneven. There is far worse music being played on country radio as we speak. Young For a Long Time never quites rises to the levels of greatness, but it never sinks to the depths of terrible, either, with the sole exception of the bro-country number “Yeah Yeah Yeah” which is every bit as awful as the title suggests. I guess they didn’t get the memo that the bro-country trend was past its peak in 2015.
While the album’s up-tempo numbers are distinctly non-descript and unmemorable, the ballads aren’t bad. I quite enjoyed “Take This Walk With Me”, which would make a good wedding song, and “How Many Chances”, which finds the protagonist frustrated when the object of his unrequited love continues to turn a blind eye to the faults of her current lover. The album’s two best tracks, however, are re-recordings of Little Texas’ best known hits, “What Might Have Been” and “God Blessed Texas”. Both are decently performed, but their inclusion is bound to draw comparisons – probably unfavorable — to the band’s earlier incarnation. Re-recordings rarely recreate the magic of the original versions, even when the key players remain the same.
It’s difficult for any band that undergoes major personnel changes to remain commercially viable. Little Texas is certainly no exception. Young For a Long Time is not a great album by any means, but it exceeded my expectations. While I wouldn’t rush out to buy it, it’s worth listening to if it’s included in any streaming services (like Amazon Music) to which you might subscribe.