By Holly Smith
Chapel Hart’s success is well deserved and their infectious enjoyment of it makes it all the sweeter.
1. Glory Days
2. Fam Damily
3. Dear Tequila
4. American Pride
5. Home Is Where The Hart Is
6. Love In Letting Go
7. If You Ain’t Wearin’ Boots
8. This Girl Likes Fords
9. Perfect For Me
10. Redneck Fairytale
11. Welcome To Fist City
It was Andy from The Office who said "I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them".
While it’s a lesson most learn in hindsight, here and now Chapel Hart need no such counsel. They are wise enough to recognise when they’re in their glory days and know you can never can tell how long they’ll last. It’s from this vantage point that they open their jubilant third album, the suitably titled Glory Days; their first since their star-making turn on America’s Got Talent.
Familial ties form the literal Hart of the album, the harmonies of sisters Danica and Devynn and cousin Trea as tight as usual. Fun and fiddle-filled, the title track has something of the Tanya Tucker about it, while ‘Fam Damily’ and ‘Home Is Where The Hart’ are romping looks at the dynamics and characters that made them.
‘Redneck Fairytale’ has that golden 70s glow about it that’s all over country music, and indeed pop culture at large, at the moment. ‘Perfect For Me’ is dark and dangerous, the smoulder of its production at odds with the seeming fairytale love story at its centre.
There’s nothing wrong with referencing the odd country song, lyric or star, as they do on ‘Dear Tequila’ (“well the last few times we hung out my clothes fell off”, they sing in reference to Joe Nichols’ ‘Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off’) - in fact, it’s a hallmark of country music.
But the closing track ‘Welcome to Fist City’ does feel a somewhat contrived attempt to recapture the success of their breakout hit ‘You Can Have Him Jolene’. The magic of that number was in the subversion of the original song, whereas here Loretta Lynn’s ‘Fist City’ is rehashed. Perhaps the fact that Loretta herself requested the group’s treatment of one of her songs lets them off the hook.
Chapel Hart’s success is well deserved and their infectious enjoyment of it makes it all the sweeter. That’s what the trio can teach us about rose-tinted glasses: you‘ll never need them if you have the foresight to stop and smell the roses whilst you can.
Chapel Hart's 2023 album, Glory Days, is out now.
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