Lane Smith ‘Volume One’ EP Review

After his decade-long career as a bullfighter, Lane Smith breaks into the country music scene with his first big project, ‘Volume One’. With only six tracks, Lane takes every expectation you have for country music stereotypes and blows your mind with his creative storytelling and innovative sound that brings a fresh take to the country music genre. He sums up ‘Volume One’ better than anybody else could, “I hope people see a new ‘Lane’ through this,” he says. “This project has a song for just about every situation in life… a few true stories, a love song or two, one rocking heartbreak song, and a party song for good measure. I feel we covered a lot of emotional and relatable material in just six tracks.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, welcome to the big show,” Lane invites us into the EP with a quote that headlines his first track, “Big Show”. He twists the usual country narrative with a hypnotizing track and it’s catchy chorus, “Welcome to the big show / Makin’ sure your beers cold / Baby we’re the highlight / Freaky Friday good time”. It’s the only track featured that was not written completely by Lane himself, and with the help of Chris Beard he creates the perfect October release.

The following three tracks all have two things in common: powerful storytelling and elements of love that are mesmerizing. It’s evident from the first beat of “Longshot” that it’s a love song. However, it takes the typical bar meeting narrative in country music and turns it into a love story complete with sweet, passionate lyrics that make the listener fall in love with the story. “Guy In A Bar” satisfies what you expect from “Longshot”, feeding us an alternative outcome where Lane does not take the chance, or longshot, and is left wondering what could have been.

“If tomorrow comes and you’re all alone / Would you be sitting there and think of our time in a bar / You never gave a chance / It was that southern charm romance / Baby, let’s just redo / That first time, me and you”

“If You Love Me” draws us in blindly with no expectations, and keeps us there with a vulnerable chorus that you can hear Lane’s voice breaking through. His lyrics and tone tell such a powerful story that the listener can see it playing out in front of them. It’s heartbreak and longing with a hint of a love triangle, “I’m not saying sink or swim / I’m just saying don’t pick him / You don’t know what you got till you give it a chance”.

Lane Smith

His previously appreciated single with hints of rock, “Bad News” is the perfect revenge track that this EP needed. It differs from his other intimate and compassionate tracks with references to vengeance and karma. His spite-filled chorus leaves us screaming the lyrics at the top of our lungs, “That’s what you get when you’re bad news / You don’t deserve anymore than you get / You’re three sheets to the wind / It’s easy to forget you / When you think your memory burns real deep / It don’t make a damn or difference to me / When you’re bad news.”

He wraps up the EP with a track we never knew we needed, but are so thankful for the creative team behind this, a cover of Free The People’s top-charter “Pumped Up Kicks”. It’s a great choice that works so well with the sound Lane Smith is creating for himself, and is complete with the country element he brought to it.

Lane expresses his wishes for the project with empathetic words “I hope these songs give the listeners a new perspective or a positive outlook on things they may be going through in their own lives. I hope people see a new era, a new Lane Smith, and a new friend of country music. Ultimately that’s the point… for the fans to feel something… honest, true, sad, happy, heartfelt, maybe a little fierce.” The EP itself is all of these things, and only the first installment to the now highly anticipated second part of the project which is slated for release in Spring 2022.

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