Turn off whatever you’re listening to right now and get this album! It’s available on iTunes so there are no excuses because this is what country music should sound like!
For better or for worse most of the music by country male artists are either similar in lyrical content or take a shift in styles, both causing a lot of discussion on what is considered to be real “country” music in 2014. Unfortunately the discussion blankets ALL current recording artists and concludes with sticking to the ol’ staples like Cash, Waylon and so on, but that isn’t necessary. There’s Steven Padilla (and other young artists out there) who have something to offer other than “Bro-Country”. And as a bonus (at least to me, because I think it’s important), Steven wrote every song except two where he did co-writes.
Good at Goodbye, released May 13th, is classic country but still sounds fresh and contemporary. After spending a week listening to every note on the album I feel like I know Steven. Each song is a like a faucet to different parts of his life, and while reflective and personal, it doesn’t get boring. The album has your attention until the last note because of his amazing talent and individuality, similar to Dierks Bentley. Steven has honed his craft and has already found himself as an artist, making it hard to believe this is his debut album.
You’ll find no filler here, but here are some of the stand-out tracks.
“Country Side of Mine” shows off a little humor lyrically without getting corny and typical. Again, even on a lighthearted song Steven takes a different path than most contemporary male artists. He references Hank Jr and Keith Whitley in a “take me as I am” venture. Name dropping has been done before but “Country Side of Mine” has a more personal approach.
“Good at Goodbye” was inspired by a 97 year old neighbor of Steven’s who has had to let go of everyone he loved in his life, but the theme is universal. Does anyone ever get good at saying goodbye? Does it ever get easier? This song rocks all over the place! It’s the perfect choice for a single and we should be hearing this on the radio without a doubt, it’s that good. I think “Good at Goodbye” is the perfect fit as the album title because there is a running theme of life’s changes throughout each song, of days gone by.
“This Woman in My Life” is a song about how his wife has changed his life and steering him into the right direction. What was wrong is now right and she enables him to see that and accept the change. It’s very effective, I’m getting up right now and kissing my wife, be right back…
“If I Didn’t Have You” is an amazing closing song, very vulnerable. Not a typical LOVE song, but thoughtful. It’s about fatherhood, faith and being a husband. As a married man in my early 30s, I can relate to the perspective of the narrator reflecting on the transition of going from the single life to a life of responsibility.
The album jacket has some photographs with various items such as posters, album covers and so forth that seem to represent Steven’s life, my personal favorites being the Entourage DVD and the original Nintendo. Yes, our generation had a great childhood!
Classic country is alive and well thanks to artists like Steven Padilla. From the dirty sound of “Peaches & Pine” to the unique beats of “Fishin’”, Good at Goodbye is the perfect harmony of classic and contemporary. Turn off the radio and get this diamond in the rough.
Hey Steven: Nice reference to “The Andy Griffith Show”, who’s idea was that?!