Album Review

Reid Haughton - Higher Than 9

This debut effort offers an exciting glimpse into Haughton’s journey, finding the musician far from university watering holes and instead on the fast track to stardom with those same barroom virtues in tow.

Album - Reid Haughton - Higher Than 9
May 16, 2024 5:51 pm GMT

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Reid Haughton - Higher Than 9

Label: River House Artists

Producer: Sadler Vaden

Release Date: May 17, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. Higher Than 9
2. It Don't Hurt
3. Man Made Money
4. Don't Get Wet
5. Got To Give
6. Flicker
7. Mendoza Line
8. Long Haired Country Boy
9. The Crow

It was under the hazy lights of some college town bars that Reid Haughton first started cutting his teeth. Often meccas for undergrads looking to get loaded on cheap beer and questionable shots against an inconsequential soundtrack, these types of venues seem thankless, where budding artists go to rattle off renditions of ‘Wagon Wheel’ over drunken shouts of game day canticles. However, they’re also places where valuable lessons are imparted, where power and pluck are hard-earned one plastered crowd at a time.

Haughton brings those barroom virtues – that intensity and tenacity – to his debut album, Higher Than 9. Opening with the buzzing atmospherics of the hypnotic title track, you can feel it in each scorching hook and guitar-talking riff. It’s an electrifying release, a crank-it-up collection of tunes all fueled by muddied blues rock and red-hot Southern soul.

Throughout, Haughton delivers the thrill of a live performance, exhilarating the ears with the wa-wa funk of blitzed bangers like ‘It Don’t Hurt’ and the strutting soul of a honey pot bop like ‘Man Made Money.’ Yet the artist also preserves the simplicity of his bar stage start, treating listeners to the casual wisdom of his sunshiny anthem ‘Don’t Get Wet’ and a smoldering sing-along on the Charlie Daniel classic, ‘Long Haired Country Boy.’

There are offerings that get lost when placed against the album’s hard-hitting highlights. The sluggish ballad ‘Got To Give’ and subdued closer ‘The Crow,’ feel especially flimsy compared to the muscle flaunted across the record. However, each track on Higher Than 9 – whether it be lyrical prowess or inspired composition – has something to flex.

It’s a record that offers an exciting glimpse into Haughton’s journey, finding the musician far from university watering holes and instead on the fast track to stardom with those same barroom virtues in tow.

8/10

Reid Haughton’s 2024 project, Higher Than 9, is available everywhere on May 17 via River House Artists.

For more on Reid Haughton, see below:

Written by Alli Patton
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