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Gone West | “Canyons” – Album Review

Gone West | “Canyons” – Album Review

Jerrett Franklin
Gone West

Gone West is a local country group that has taken Nashville by storm. It is made up of Colbie Caillat, Justin Young, Nelly Joy and Jason Reeves. Colbie Caillat and her fiancée Justin Young decided to head to Nashville where Caillat’s co-writer, recording artist and friend Jason Reeves was living with his wife songwriter/Academy of CMA nominee Nelly Joy.

Gone West just released their debut album, Canyons. In honor of this release, we have decided to do a review of this 13 track album. In an interview with USA Today, The songs tackle “heartbreak and people around us going through that,” Caillat said.  So, lets dive into the album.

First up is a song, cleverly titled, “Gone West.” What a great start to the album. The harmonies are on point. The instrumentals are insane and this really resembles a Mumford and Songs song. It is super catchy and you will definitely be singing along to this one.

Next up is “Slow Down.” Again, such killer vocals and harmonies from the entire group. The instrumentals are very well done. It almost has a beach-vibe to it with some 80’s influence to it. Production is impressive as well. Two tracks in and I am hooked. I am pleasantly surprised at how solid these songs are.

The next two songs, “What Could Have Been,” and “When to Say Goodbye,” I am going to pair together because they are my favorites on the album. Everyone loves a good sad song but wow, did they deliver on these tracks. “What Could Have Been,” has clearly resonated with listeners as it has over 1 Million listens on YouTube alone. These songs are seriously impressive. From the heartbreaking vocals, to the insane amount of emotion put into the harmonies, these songs will be on repeat for a while. “When to Say Goodbye,” is probably the strongest ballad on the album, just because of how solid the harmonies are and how heartbreaking the lyrics are.

“Knew You,” starts off with some very catchy instrumentals that just draw you in. Very Hawaiian themed with this one. Its such a good song, with some very cool vocals. Colbie’s and Nelly’s vocals are to the forefront here. This pays off in this particular song. Even the breakdown near the 2:30 mark in the song is pretty cool to hear. Another solid song. I mean, we are 5 Songs in and they have all been great.

The 6th track on Canyons is “Confetti.” Talk about a twist on a break up song. This song is basically someone who is glad to have broken up with their other half. “No Tears Fell, Just Confetti.” This is such an empowering song and will definitely help you get through any breakup.

Next up is “I’m Never Getting Over You,” which by the way it sounds, is definitely a sad song. To begin with, I can’t get over how great these vocals are. I mean, come on, these vocals are perfect. They capture the emotion of the song and really make you feel their pain. This is made even more evident in the ambient background vocals. Completely heartbreaking song but another strong track nonetheless.

“Gamblin’ Town,” and “Talkin’ Bout You,” are up next. Right off the bat, the harmonies are on point and just sound angelic, in a way. I love how the instrumentals open up towards the end of “Gamblin’ Town.” It has such a big sound to it and it really shows you how strong the whole production is. “Talkin Bout You,” is a strong song as well. Even 9 tracks in, my favorite parts are the harmonies. Every time, they are on point and it just draws you in and doesn’t let you go.

“R&R,” is up next. It has a very unique sound to it. Once the song gets going, it just opens up completely. This one is just a feel good song. I could see listening to this on a back road or just partying on a boat. Either way, just listen to this song and have a good time.

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“Home Is Where The Heartbreak Is,” is up next and it is another emotional song. These slower songs is where Gone West shines. Each one of them has a powerful voice and when you put their harmonies together, you get magic. That is what this album is, pure magic.

“This Time,” and “Tides,” are the last two tracks on the album. What a way to end it. “This Time,” is a slower song and has a very unique sound to it. This song is basically about living in the moment and taking advantage of the present. Most of this song is full of harmonies, which you should know by now, is my favorite. “Next Time, there might not be a This Time.” One of the most powerful lyrics on the album. “Tides,” starts off as an a capella harmony masterpiece. When the song really opens up, it is at its strongest. This is a great way to end the album.

All in all, this album is definitely a work of art. From the powerful vocals, beautiful harmonies, infectious instrumentals and lyrical storytelling, this is one of the best albums of the year, in any genre. If you are already a Gone West fan, or are just looking for incredible music to listen to, give this album a shot. You will not be disappointed.

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