Album Review

Niko Moon - BETTER DAYS

Niko once again reminds us that seriousness needn't be the touchstone of great artistry.

Niko Moon BETTER DAYS album artwork
January 22, 2024 10:29 am GMT
Last Edited January 24, 2024 6:34 pm GMT

t-logo
f-logo
email logo
link icon

Link copied

Content Sponsor

Niko Moon - BETTER DAYS

Label: Happy Cowboy Records

Producers: Niko Moon & Anna Moon

Release Date: January 19th, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. STRANGE TIMES

2. SOMEWHERE SOUTH OF HERE

3. FALLING FOR YOU

4. AIN'T NO BETTER PLACE (ft. HARDY)

5. DRINKS DRUNK

6. FOREVER FEELING

7. BETTER DAYS

8. FISHIN’ IN THE DARK

9. DRINKING GAMES

10. WEIGHTLESS

11. SOMEBODY IS ME

12. SPEND IT ON YOU

13. THE GOOD LIFE

After the emergence of all the gloomy country-folk this past year, the 'Happy Cowboy' has made a welcome return - and he's brought the sunshine with him.

While his debut effort, GOOD TIME, simply lived up to its name, on BETTER DAYS, Niko Moon shows us how we too can unlock the joy for life he's become known for. By adding this extra layer, he crafts a more considered and compelling album than his last.

He offers a tongue-in-cheek assessment of today's world on the album opener, 'STRANGE TIMES', as his signature rasp coasts across a noughties-inspired piano riff. The title-track is the centrepiece, with Moon's R&B-country fusion encouraging listeners to keep their eyes on life's silver linings.

BETTER DAYS captures the sun-soaked bliss of beach-country, while delving beyond the genre's surface-level themes. This makes it a rewarding album for casual and country-curious listeners, as well as die-hard Parrotheads looking for an escape.

Although Moon is digging deeper emotionally, every song on BETTER DAYS is still refreshingly optimistic, whether he's toasting his wife and co-writer Anna on 'WEIGHTLESS', or channelling his inner Chesney on 'SOMEBODY IS ME'.

Moon's take on The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 'FISHIN' IN THE DARK' is one of the album's many moments that'll make traditionalists baulk - and is a perfect example of why Niko Moon's sound is more necessary than ever in today's country landscape.

With the genre overrun by a wave of increasingly forlorn, heavy-hearted members of the bloke-folk movement, Moon's feel-good style is a welcome change of pace.

Niko Moon reminds us that seriousness needn't be the touchstone of great artistry. Sometimes, we just want to have fun - and BETTER DAYS is a fitting soundtrack.

7.5/10

Niko Moon's 2024 album, BETTER DAYS, is out now via Happy Cowboy Records.

For more on Niko Moon, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
Content Sponsor
Album - Drake Milligan - Jukebox Songs
reviews

Drake Milligan - Jukebox Songs

Album - Blackberry Smoke - Be Right Here
reviews

Blackberry Smoke - Be Right Here

Album - Redferrin - Old No. 7
reviews

Redferrin - Old No. 7

The Castellows A Little Goes A Long Way artwork
reviews

The Castellows - A Little Goes A Long Way