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Days of Gold by Jake Owen

It’s always nice when an artist grows from project to project, but it can be a surprisingly fine line between a natural evolution and an abrupt change. Jake Owen seems to have masterfully managed the former with his newest album, Days of Gold. Jake doesn’t veer too far left of center as far as the lyrical content of the songs on the album. Themes of summertime fun, romance and adult beverages are as prevalent as they were on his previous release, Barefoot Blue Jean Night. But vocally, Jake has come into his own. Effortless and easy, his sound alone has become as comfortable as the voice of an old friend. 

With recitations being the hot new thing in country music, Jake contributes his version in the kicky hit waiting to happen, “Beachin’,” but before you call it rap, think again. Jake sounds more like he’s retelling a story, covering every picturesque scene. It’s toe-tapping and giggle-worthy. But if another talky song isn’t your bag, check out “Tall Glass of Something,” which is equally as smile inducing. 

One of the greatest disappointments of Barefoot Blue Jean Night was that “The Journey of Your Life” wasn’t released as a single. However, it’s reassuring that Jake hasn’t disregarded his commitment to a meaningful lyric with the inclusion of “What We Ain’t Got,” a lyric so painful and a melody so aching you may feel your own heart break.

A couple of back-to-back tracks midway through the project bear a sonic similarity to each other, but their topics are so different, you’ll want to keep listening.

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