The sophomore studio long-player from the Texas-bred, Nashville-based singer/songwriter, All These Dreams doubles down on Andrew Combs' '70s countrypolitan/soft rock predilections, offering up an always melodious and warmly lit distillation of all things Glen Campbell, Mickey Newbury, Mac Davis, and Harry Nilsson -- both the amiable opener "Rainy Day Song" and the easygoing "Nothing to Lose" regularly threaten to break into "Everybody's Talkin'. " The album's first single, "Foolin'," perks things up a bit; with its steady, Jeff Lynne-inspired backbeat and earworm of a chorus, it finds a nice middle ground between the cool retro Americana of Caitlin Rose and the pure radio pop acumen of Traveling Wilburys-era Roy Orbison. That same architecture is revisited on songs like "Long Gone Lately" and the lovely title track, both of which strike a nice balance between fedora-wearing indie pop and heartache-heavy new and old country, but Combs is first and foremost a balladeer.
Andrew CombsAll These Dreams(Coin/Thirty Tigers)4 out of 5 stars Look no further than the cover photo of a serious, sleepy-eyed and seemingly confident Andrew Combs contrasted against a somber black background to get a feel for the music inside. The Nashville by way of Texas singer-songwriter ups his game for this self-assured sweetly melodic sophomore release. Not only does every song hit the mid-late ’70s LA rock and countrypolitan (think Glen Campbell at his most straightforward) mark, but the production by Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson perfectly captures the windswept tunes and somewhat darker lyrical spirit of Combs’ material.
Poor Charlie Rich. The Kanye West of country music before there was a Kanye, Rich was essentially blackballed for his intoxicated, fire-setting presentation of John Denver’s 1975 CMA Entertainer of the Year Award win. Just two years prior, the “Silver Fox” was a crossover success with his chart-topping “The Most Beautiful Girl”; today, he’s a staple of thrift store record bins and a footnote as the one-time poster boy for the “Nashville sound”.