Anderson East’s “Encore”

By Josh Schott

Anderson East is one of the most interesting artists in the Americana scene today. His debut album Delilah gleamed with potential. Particularly East has a voice most singers dream of having: it’s dynamic, has character and stands out in the crowd of cookie cutter, vanilla cutouts you hear everywhere else. He’s also signed to Elektra Records, allowing him to work with super producer Dave Cobb. So production has certainly not been the issue. What it came down to on this sophomore album was could he deliver more interesting songs? After thoroughly listening to Encore, the answer is an emphatic yes.

Almost every song on this album packs a punch and somehow both East and Cobb step up their games. It opens with the tone setting “King For a Day.” Written by East and Chris and Morgane Stapleton, this song plays to the lesson of it’s better to have loved once, than to have never loved at all. East then hits us with the album’s biggest gem, “House is a Building.” The lyricism on this song is strikingly beautiful and heartfelt (credit to writers East, Natalie Hemby and Aaron Raitiere). The melodic arrangement is smooth and romantic, immediately sweeping you up on the first listen.

Soaring horns open up the Ted Hawkins-penned “Sorry You’re Sick.” It’s impossible to not want to bob your head and dance along with this track. Who says Americana can’t be fun? Another highlight of this album is the Stapleton co-write “If You Keep Leaving Me.” This song fits East perfectly and goes to another level in the second half of the song. Assisted by a heavy gospel sound, East flexes his vocal muscles like I’ve never heard from him. “Girlfriend” is the loudest song from East yet, as the horns and organ are on full blast. The electrical interlude in the bridge perfectly melds old and new sounds to make something irresistibly catchy.

The album’s lead single and East’s first #1 single at AAA radio “All On My Mind” is one of those songs that instantly catches your ear. It’s not a surprise it was his first big hit, as one of the top hit-makers in music in Ed Sheeran co-wrote this song. Listeners resistant to pop may not like this track, as it’s a little bit different from the rest of the album. East tones it back down on “Without You,” which is much gentler. This is one of those songs you appreciate with more listens, as it isn’t as flashy as the aforementioned track. But East’s crooning of his love for his lady will win you over and impress you just as much. East superbly covers Willie Nelson’s “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces.” While Willie’s version is more vulnerable, East’s put his own twist on by instead bringing a more urgent desperation feel to the song. The album concludes with the reflective “Cabinet Door.” It’s one of those songs that allow the melody to slowly reveal the song to you. While this album goes to many places, in the end brings it back to where it started and that’s love.

Encore is a great album and a breakout moment for Anderson East. Stapleton showed that the public loves soulful vocal powerhouses and East is going to follow the path he’s blazed. In a music world full of the same old thing, you’ll find that Anderson East’s music is anything but ordinary.  |  fb  |  buy

Josh Schott

Josh Schott

Hailing from the Appalachian foothills, Josh is a lifelong listener of music. Raised on country and rock music, Josh has a healthy knowledge of both genres. He’s just as likely to be listening to George Strait and Waylon Jennings, as he is to be listening to AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. He’s always had an interest in writing and music. This led to him creating Country Perspective in 2014, where he previously wrote. In addition to the aforementioned genres, Josh also loves hip-hop and R&B. When he’s not being a music nerd and writing nerd, he’s an avid watcher of college football and learning how to play the guitar.

Likes: Sturgill Simpson, great outlaw country, the Bakersfield sound, amazing music regardless of genre, going to concerts, Indians baseball and Ohio State football.
Josh Schott

Latest posts by Josh Schott (see all)

Comments are closed.