Album Review

Jake Worthington - Jake Worthington

Unapologetically country, Jake Worthington's full-length debut is packed with honky tonk dancefloor fillers, heartbreak anthems and, you guessed it, a shot or two of whiskey for good measure.

Holler Country Music
April 3, 2023 11:20 am GMT

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Jake Worthington - Jake Worthington

Label: Big Loud

Release Date: April 7, 2023

Producer: Joey Moi

Tracklisting:

1. State You Left Me In
2. Single at the Same Time
3. Without You
4. Pop Goes the Whiskey
5. Ain't Got You to Hold
6. She Ain't You
7. Next New Thing
8. Honky Tonk Crowd
9. I Ain't Goin Anywhere
10. Night Time is My Time
11. Only One Way to Find Out
12. Heaven Can't Be Found
13. Closing Time

It’s about time the mainstream welcomed Jake Worthington into its realms. With two stellar EPs under his belt, the La Porte native and former The Voice star readies his first major label album - unapologetically country, it’s packed with honky tonk dancefloor fillers, heartbreak anthems and, you guessed it, a shot or two of whiskey for good measure.

Songwriting credits alongside the likes of Roger Springer, David Lee Murphy and Jessi Alexander are testaments to the respect Jake Worthington now commands; his musicality oozing class. ‘State You Left Me In’ serves a time jump back to the 1980s with George Strait in his prime, whilst the gushing ‘She Ain’t You’ is the epitome of a retro love song, with its dreamy, pedal steel-driven melody that would slot seamlessly into the repertoires of the all-time greats.

‘Single at the Same Time’ sees Worthington longing for something more than friendship, “huntin’, fishin’, sittin’ down by the lake,” giving Luke Bryan a close run in country cliche bingo. It’s an instant catch, though, with a feeling of warmth and familiarity. In many ways, that’s the unique beauty of this collection - it’s like delving back into the archives rather than a journey of discovery. There’s no expense spared on the slick, retro production from renowned studio maestro, Joey Moi, either.

‘Pop Goes the Whiskey,’ featuring ERNEST, packs a punch, from the perspective of a heartbroken barstool occupant who’s Back to the bottle again, between heartache and liquor”. Meanwhile, ‘Ain’t Got You to Hold’ showcases superb tongue-in-cheek lyricism - “There ain’t no honky tonks in Texas, George ain’t got no exes, and I thank God I ain’t got you to hold.”But it’s the slower, more sensitive moments like the breezy ‘I Ain’t Goin’ Anywhere’ and the vintage, throwback ‘Closing Time’ where Worthington truly glistens.

What you see with Jake Worthington is exactly what he delivers - authentic Texas country with a deep devotion to the genre’s heritage. Admittedly, a little variation from the tried and tested barroom themes wouldn’t go amiss, but he simply caters to the demand. With the emergence of Cody Johnson, Randall King and Drake Milligan, traditional crooner country is back in fashion, and with the backing of Big Loud, the door may now be open for one of Texas’ most compelling young voices to stake his claim.

7/10

Written by Dan Wharton
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