Album Review

Nate Smith - Nate Smith

It’s love, both of the self and others, that’s demonstrated throughout this near-hour-and-a-half blues, pop and rock-infused country album.

Nate Smith - Nate Smith (Deluxe) Album Cover
April 24, 2023 2:02 pm GMT
Last Edited April 25, 2023 9:13 am GMT

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Nate Smith - Nate Smith

Label: Sony Music Entertainment

Release Date: April 28th, 2023

Producers: Nate Smith, Lindsay Rimes, Jared Hampton, Joël Bruyère and Zach Abend.

Tracklisting:

1. If I Could Stop Loving You

2. Alright, Alright, Alright

3. One Good Girl

4. Back At It Again

5. You Ain't Been In Love

6. Better Boy

7. You Only Want Me When You're Drunk

8. Bad Memory

9. Oil Spot

10. Wreckage

11. LFG

12. Whiskey On You

13. You Shouldn't Have To

14. Sleeve

15. I Found You

16. Backseat

17. Name Storms After

18. Raised Up

19. Under my Skin

20. I Don't Wanna Go To Heaven

21. World on Fire

22. I Don't Miss You

23. Good By Now

24. What an Angel Ain't

25. Dear Heart

26. Love Is Blind

After losing his home in 2018 to the most destructive fire in California state history, country singer Nate Smith found himself at a crossroads. This could have been a permanent setback, yet Smith chose to turn his devastation into triumph with his breakout song ‘One of These Days’.

Through this momentum, his next song ‘Wildfire’ gained viral status, leading him to sign with Sony Music Nashville. Now, with his self-titled debut, Smith finally has the deserved and hard-earned space to fully introduce himself, share his heart and explore new territories with that multi-faceted voice of his.

Followers of Smith won’t be surprised by the end results, with the album’s subject matter not straying far from what has already been established. Smith acts with tender vulnerability, one that showcases his desire to find joy in love. It’s love, both of the self and others, that’s demonstrated throughout the near-hour-and-a-half blues, pop and rock-infused country album.

With this sincere intention, it should be no surprise that lead single ‘Whiskey on You’ is already platinum. Lyrically though, it’s a been-there-done-that take that doesn't accurately represent Smith's true abilities, working only because of his malleable voice. Smith - whose range many have likened to other bearded wunderkinds like Stapleton and Combs - bears more resemblance to country legend Vince Gill, whose vocal control could cause fainting spells three states over. This is Smith’s superpower.

His voice works overtime to create a solid listening experience, even when the material may not rise to the occasion. There isn’t a song in this collection that is not ready for radio success, which isn’t a compliment. Cuts like the pandering ‘Alright, Alright, Alright’ and tedious ‘LFG’ will be blared from rusty Chevrolet truck windows and beach dive bars throughout the summer.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t moments where his talent finds connection with true lyrical depth. His voice devours the fantastic ‘Better Boy’ and finds clear personal comfort in the tear-inducing ‘Raised Up’. It’s on rock-leaning cuts though, like ‘Oil Spot’ and ‘Sleeve’, where he soulfully hangs on every syllable to absolutely dazzling results.

Smith is one of the most exciting male voices to recently arrive in country music and he will undoubtedly find continued success. His journey deserves it. Let’s just hope the songs on his sophomore effort can match that otherworldly talent.

7 / 10

Nate Smith's 2023 self-titled album is released April 28th via Sony Music Entertainment. You can purchase the record from one of Holler's selected partners below:

Nate Smith - Nate Smith (Deluxe) Album Cover

Sony | 2023

Items featured on Holler are first selected by our editorial team and then made available to buy. When you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.,

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Written by Soda Canter
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