Courtesy: Awaken Love Music/Press Junkie PR
Country musician Crystal Yates released her latest recording this past May. The record, The Other Side, is an offering that any country music fan should hear at least once. This is the case even with the record boasting a grand total of five songs. Those five songs will move listeners deeply in so many ways over the course of the record’s twenty-one minute run time. That is thanks to the combination of the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content. From one song to the next this record offers plenty for country music fans to appreciate. By the time the record ends it leaves listeners with quite the impression. It is an impression that will leave listeners agreeing that Yates’ could be one of the next big names in the country community.
Crystal Yates’ new record The Other Side is a record that any country music fan should hear at least once. That is because through the combination of its musical arrangements and lyrical content, it shows her to potentially be one of country music’s next big names. One of the songs that best exemplifies this is ‘Already Yours.’ This song stands out on Yates’ new record in part due to its musical arrangement. The song starts out very tentative and slow. Over the course of its four-plus minute run time it gradually picks up a little more; not so much in its tempo but in its confidence. Yates’ own soulful vocals echo the power in the song’s musical arrangement, too adding even more power to the arrangement. The song’s gentle opening and its gradual growth is a direct mirror so to speak to its lyrical content. That is noted as Yates sings in the song’s opening verse, “If you’re feeling down/And you’re all alone/Then I’ve got a hand you can hold/Put your hand in mine/Let me walk you through/There ain’t nothing that/I wouldn’t do/Don’t you even think/Just call/You ain’t gotta ask at all/If you want my love/It’s already yours.” McKenzie Smith keeps a solid tempo on the drums, showing that truly talented drummers don’t always have to have machine gun speed beats. Sometimes it is the ones who play slower and with control who show true skill and talent. Yates’ gentle approach continues in the song’s second verse. Though, it is clear as the verse progresses that so does the power in both her Bonnie Raitt meets Susan Tedeschi style vocals and the song’s general musical arrangement. Ultimately it culminates with that gentle reminder from Yates, “If you want my love/It’s already there.” All things considered here, this song proves to be one of this record’s best compositions if not its outright best. It is just one of the songs that proves why Yates could potentially be one of the next big names in country music. ‘Made To Last’ follows ‘Already Yours.’ It is another of the record’s most standout compositions.
‘Already Yours’ is one of the key compositions included in Crystal Yates’ new record. That is thanks to the obvious attention paid to detail both in regards to its musical content and its lyrical content, and how the two elements work together. The end result is a song that is possibly one of the record’s best moments if not its best. Keeping that in mind, it is not the record’s only key composition. ‘Made To Last’ follows ‘Already Yours.’ It is another of the record’s key compositions. Unlike ‘Already Yours,’ this song is a full-on country song. Its musical arrangement harkens back to the likes of Reba McEntire and Martina Mcbride (the latter of whom Yates has shared the stage). That is clear not only in its upbeat arrangement but also in Yates’ own vocal delivery. It presents such a positive vibe from beginning to end. That alone is more than enough to make this song another hit for her. The song’s lyrical content is just as certain to make it a hit. It directly echoes the upbeat energy of the song’s musical arrangement. This is made clear as Yates sings playfully in the song’s lead verse, “That cat has started getting’ on your nerves/I can’t stand your Nickelback T-shirt/But that’s how it goes/And don’t you know/Falling is the easy part/But when times get hard is when the real thing starts/Real love is not a chance we take/It’s a choice we make/Each and every day/But then what happened happens/I want a love that’s made to last.” The playful yet straightforward commentary about real love here is certain to put a smile on any listener’s face. And that line about hating a guy’s Nickelback T-shirt will undoubtedly get more than a few laughs, too. This is just the start of the positive vibes in the song’s lyrical content. She goes on to sing, “When people get as close as you and I/You can bet that we butt heads sometimes/But makin’ up/Can sure be fun/You might never clean the dishes up/I’m gonna be have a few bad days each month/But letting go/is how we’ll grow/Falling is the easy part/But when times get hard/It’s when the real thing starts/Love is not a chance we take/It’s a choice we make/Each and every day/But then what happens, happens fast/I want a love that’s made to last.” Yates’ reality check goes on from here dispelling the myth about the long white dress, the house and picket fence, etc. She notes again that what is most important about a good life together is a love that (again) lasts. It is a statement that rings loud and clear from beginning to end. When coupled with the song’s upbeat musical arrangement, the song in whole proves to be another great addition to Yates’ new record. Together with ‘Already Yours’ it is yet more proof of why Yates could potentially be one of country’s next big names.
‘Already Yours’ and ‘Made To Last’ are both key additions to Crystal Yates’ new record. Both songs stand solidly on their own merits. This includes both their musical arrangements and lyrical content. While both songs stand out in their own right they are not the record’s only standout songs. The record’s closer, also its title track, is one more of its most notable compositions. This song stands out from the record’s other tracks just as much as they do from one another. In regards to its musical content, it is a solid, blues-based gospel tune that once again echoes those hints of Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi. Yates’ vocals are just as powerful as the song’s musical arrangement. She sings here about getting to “the other side.” It is clear here that she is singing about going to Heaven here. That is especially clear as she sings, “I know we’re gonna pass…to the other shore/Oh, we’re gonna see the lord/I said oh, we’re gonna see the lord.” She goes on to sing, “Ain’t gonna let nothin’ stop us/From the other side.” It’s a classic gospel style song at least in terms of its lyrics. In regards to its musical arrangement, that is not an entirely original approach. But it is one that is rarely taken by any artist. The only name that this critic in particular can come up with when thinking of blues-based gospel, is the Blind Boys of Alabama. To that end, this song is yet another standout composition for Yates’ new record. It shows just as much as ‘Already Yours’ and ‘Made To Last’ why this young singer-songwriter could very well be one of country music’s next big names. That is not to ignore the record’s other two songs, ‘Leave Me Alone To Die’ (which is actually about a kidnapping that she personally experienced at one point in her life) and ‘Hell On My Soul.’ Those two songs offer up their own interest to this record, too. All things considered, this new record may only boast five songs and run twenty-one minutes but it is still a record that any country music purist should hear at least once if not more. That is because it could be the next step in making her one of country music’s next big names.
Crystal Yates could very well be one of the next big names in the country music community. She has already made quite the impact with two previous recordings. Now with her latest record The Other Side she is that much closer to actually making that become true. That is because over the course of this record’s five songs and twenty-one minutes, she offers audiences so much to appreciate. Each song stands out from the others both musically and lyrically. And each one is just as entertaining as the others, too as has already been noted. From a powerhouse blues-based gospel closer in its title track, to a fun, upbeat song about the realities of marriage, to an equally moving piece about a person’s (likely a woman’s) love for another, and beyond, there is plenty to appreciate about this record. All things considered, The Other Side could very well be the record that takes Crystal Yates to the “other side” of music stardom. It is available now and can be ordered direct via Yates’ official website at http://www.crystalyatesmusic.com/merch/. More information on The Other Side is available online now along with all of her latest news and more at:
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspick.wordpress.com.