Reviewed by: Jane Roser
After a decade fronting the Richmond, Virginia-based indie rock band Joe Buck, Jr., Rob Williams turned to a solo career releasing his first LP A Place In The Sun in 2013 which showcased his penchant for storytelling and Southern charm. Now, two years later comes Williams’ follow up eight-track album Southern FM. Recorded in Dallas, Texas at Pleasantry Lance Studio and helmed by producer Salim Nourallah (Rhett Miller, Old 97’s), Southern FM blends traditional folk influences with a hint of alternative flavor on the side. The result, as Matthew McConaughey would put it, is alright, alright, alright.
The first three songs are faced paced, guitar-driven tunes which initially catch your ear, but start to blend together after awhile. While I loved the fun, upbeat “Best I Can Do” with its witty lyrics and toe-tapping percussion, the final track in this triad, “Where You Hang Your Heart”, includes an odd chorus in which Williams awkwardly overemphasizes the word “where” so many times I had to skip it before I had a “wheeeeere” overdose.
The lead single “Sometimes It’s A Song” slows the album’s pace down to catch it’s breath. It’s an okay song; one that didn’t necessarily strike a chord with me, but I can appreciate the lyrics which tell the story of a touring musician who gets frustrated by his audience; wondering whether or not they are truly paying attention to his performance. It’s a song that is relateable to anyone, whether they are a musician, an actor, or merely a guest at a cocktail party telling a story to people they’ve never met before.
Southern FM has no low notes, a few high points and the rest is, well…alright.