My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Trent Tomlinson – ‘That’s What’s Working Right Now’

thats-whats-working-right-nowOne-time Lyric Street artist Trent Tomlinson scored a couple of top 20 hits a decade ago, but has struggled since his departure from that label, issuing a series of singles. Now he has self-released a new album, although none of those singles have made their way on to the end product. The production is rather louder and less sympathetic to the material or Trent’s voice than I expected, or would have liked.

‘Dust’ is a decent if not spectacular song about regret for failing to save a relationship beneath the insensitive wall of sound production.

‘When She Goes There’ (though still a bit cluttered) is better, a strong mid-tempo song about denial, with the protagonist refusing to meet with his departing lover when she comes over to pick up her things:

I don’t wanna be here when she goes there
So I can’t see that she don’t care
If I don’t see the leavin’ all over her face
I can keep believin’ everything’s okay
If I don’t feel the hurtin’ hit
And hear goodbye rollin off her lips
There’s still a chance she ain’t going anywhere

‘One Way In’ is a nice ballad about falling in love and making a commitment that lasts in a small town. ‘Cry Baby’ is an attractive love song offering a shoulder to cry on and the prospect of new love, and I also quite liked ‘The Crying Game’ despite an intrusive electric guitar and unnecessary spoken section . Another love song, ‘For The Life Of Me’ is quite good too, although a string arrangement battles with the electric guitar.

Although far from traditional, I rather enjoyed ‘Don’t Blow My Cover’, a catchy tune addressed to the protagonist’s own heart as he tries to play it cool with a new love interest.

‘Eyes On You’ and ‘Right Where We Want It’ are too pop-rock influenced for me, and not particularly interesting lyrically. ‘Running Out Of Room’ might possibly be a good song under the layers of production.

Trent’s traditionalist tendencies get a show in the title track, an excellent song about drinking and denial to deal with a breakup:

I found a place where a grown man can hide
And not be ashamed if he breaks down and cries
I know I should go home but I know what’s in store
And who gives a damn if I just have one more…

I’ll just sit here and drink till I drown
Cause that’s what’s working right now

Inn similar style is the closing track, ‘I Called Up Hell’. This is a great song about heartbreak and drinking:

You see I live in a bottle
Down deep in a hole
But she’s got my heart
Lord I don’t need my soul
And I burn with a fever from every last kiss
So I called up Hell
Because it’s better than this

It’s better than drinkin’ til I fade to black
And waking up screamin’ ‘cause she ain’t coming back

So this is definitely a mixed bag, but the production issues made it overall a disappointment for me. Download ‘That’s What’s Working Right Now’ and #I Called Up Hell’, and one or two other tracks are worth checking out.

Grade: C+

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