David Nail might not be releasing his latest album “The Sound Of A Million Dreams” until November 15th, but we received an advanced copy in our inbox this morning from the team at MCA Nashville. This was an album I was interested in hearing by the Grammy-nominated singer who is out touring with Taylor Swift. He called in favors from buddies Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum, and Adam Hood for tracks on the record. Pretty impressive! The 11-track album features a little bit of something for everyone, packaged neatly together.
“The Sound Of A Million Dreams” is the follow-up album to David’s critically acclaimed “I’m About To Come Alive.” His previous album garnered him both a Grammy Nomination (“Best Male Country Vocal Performance – Red Light”), and an Academy of Country Music nomination (“Single Of The Year – Red Light”). This effort is just as strong with his previous, with nothing too loud or out of place on the record. It’s an interesting work put together, where David relies more on that of a choir than an acoustic guitar or mandolin. It’s an album that I feel was influenced by his time spent with Lady Antebellum on tour.
The album opens up with “Grandpa’s Farm,” a tune co-written by Adam Hood, Brent Cobb and Jason Saenz. David said he wanted to find a track that was “right out of a honky-tonk.” The song starts off with the honky tonk flavor but quickly changes around half-way through when he’s backed up by a choir. It’s a nice change, but isn’t the most “country” kind of releases. It’s a pretty song where David tries to convince his girl to stick around just a little bit longer on Grandpa’s Farm, and why it’s better to stay in the country instead of heading off to the city. While David was trying to get a Black Crowes kind of sound to this track, I’m not sure he achieved what he wanted to: but it’s beautiful, even if it’s not exactly country.
“Songs For Sale” is the second track on the album and has a lot more of that ‘country’ feel than the opening song. The song co-written by Billy Montana and Scooter Carusoe, focuses on the story of songwriters trying to get by while they try to live out their dreams in music. It’s a pretty song that has single potential for sure. The song fights the myth that everyone who sings, or writes, songs is rich just because they’re on the radio; the song centers around people working in bars while writing their music. It’s one of my favorites on the album and a stand-out track.
“Desiree” was originally a Keith Urban track that David chose to cut since Keith’s “The Ranch” was one of the albums that had a big influence on him when he moved to Nashville. It’s a completely different take on the song, which is almost unrecognizable – but in a good way. The song starts off like a ballad, but quickly changes into an up-tempo as soon as the chorus hits. It’s just as pretty as Keith’s, even if it has just a little bit of a different flavor to it. It’s one of the catchier up-tempos on the album that closes out with some Keith-esque guitar solos.
“She Rides Away” was written by Eric Paslay and Phil Barton. It’s one of the tracks on the album where David showcases his strong vocals. The song paints a pretty imagery, and one the tracks David should be proudest of on the album. It’s a fresh sounding up-tempo tune that David says is “one of the coolest things” he’s ever done. It’s another beautiful track on the album, and the one that stands out the most to me. I think it might be the best track on the album.
Usually cheating songs are all about the vengeance or revenge. “Let It Rain” is the opposite, it’s about the man who cheated on his wife but wants to do anything to do it right. It’s a groovy little tune where David sings the story of a hurt, hurt man desperate to make things right. It’s a single where he puts his vocals on display on the strong chorus before it goes back into the groovy guitar licks in the verses. One of the better lines in the song is: “Seven years of good can’t hide the one night I forgot to wear that ring..”
“I Thought You Knew” is one of the more anticipated songs on the album. The song, co-written by David, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, and Monty Powell definitely has that Lady A flavor to it. I could easily see this on any of the albums by the trio, but it fits David well enough. The song is a strong, steady tempo that the gang wrote together while on a tour bus. The track just feels like a Lady Antebellum song that’s hard to shake off, but it’s a good thing for David. It works.
“The Sound Of A Million Dreams” is the title track of the album. It’s the perfect song to introduce listeners to the album, with the simple piano through most of the track. The song, co-written by Scooter Carusoe and Phil Vassar, is the song where David sings about how long he has dreamed about performing in Nashville. It starts off simple enough, and then like every other track in the album, about three quarters of the way through David brings in the full backing band.
Overall, it’s a strong effort by David Nail even if it doesn’t scream ‘country.’ He experimented with using a full band in his songs, and much of the album has a strong Lady Antebellum influence. Many of the songs I can easily picture on one of the trio’s albums, which is most likely influenced by David’s time spent opening for them throughout the year. It’s still a great album, even if he ventured a little far out of the honky-tonk or southern rock country sounds we are used to hearing these days.
“The Sound Of A Million Dreams” will be released on November 15th.
RATING: 7 out of 10
DOWNLOAD: Songs For Sale, Desiree, Let It Rain.