Brent Daniels is different breed of singer from the crop of modern country performers who’ve emerged in recent years. He has a modern touch, but the breadth of his singing voice is capable of existing in the present while still recalling the work of much older artists. It helps keep his more traditional efforts tethered to a timelessness that more limited contemporaries lack. His first album Every Road Has a Turn comes at its intended audience from a number of directions while keeping a natural, commercially minded sound going for the entirety of the release. Daniels is a vocal talent who’s capable of shedding his technique and letting it rip, but he’s also got the ability to move our minds with the thoughtful way he handles Every Road Has a Turn’s more thoughtful numbers.
One of the best thoughtful songs on the album comes with its first tune. “My First Friday Night” has some fantastic storytelling virtues and Daniels makes great use of its lyrics. He brings the story of this guy fully to life without any big emotional crescendos and his refusal to become too overwrought is a sign of a wise singer. It’s quite a different Brent Daniels we encounter on “My Truck’s Bigger than Your Truck”, but he unashamedly belts this out and even those who don’t like the track, namely an older audience, will have to confess that it’s tailor made for these times and has hit potential. “Party at the End of the Road” is another commercial swing for the fences with a fierier Daniels’ vocal than before, but it can’t be easy. This song sets a breathless pace for any singer and it’s a testament to his talents that he keeps up without breaking a figurative sweat.
“Long Way from Leaving”, like most of the “serious” tracks on this album, deals with breakups of one form or another and has a slightly rockier edge than the album’s first song. The lyrics have a lot of the slyly turned ironies common to country music songwriting and there’s not a single word or note wasted pulling off this performance.
“One Big Party” and “Young, Wild, and Crazy” are two more clear attempts to score hit singles with anthems squarely aimed at a younger audience. The first of these two songs are the much more general and it bears noting that, unlike “My Truck’s Bigger than Your Truck”, the musical arrangements on these songs favor a country sound far more than rock. “Different Just the Same” has a nicely building tempo and artfully depicts the heart ache of living on without someone you’ve loved for so long. Daniels gives a quietly assured vocal he amps up for the song’s chorus. “I’ve Been Gone” might remind some of a young Travis Tritt for a modern edge. He’s got enough swagger to make the dismissive chorus sound deliciously dramatic without ever making things uncomfortable for the listener. Every Road Has a Turn takes some entertaining turns during its brief run and it presents a striking new performer with endless future promise.
9 out of 10 stars