Adam Fears - You Get Me
(November 2007) Before I get into the review of Adam Fears’ You Get Me, I want to point out that Adam is originally from Texas, but he lives, writes, and records in Nashville. I mention that fact only so you can — if a connection to Music Town bothers you — get over it. This record is firmly rooted in Texan soil. To know this, all you have to do is look at the liner notes. In true Texas/Red Dirt form, all the songs were written or cowritten by Fears.
While the themes Fears explores on this record — love found, love lost, unbridled youth — are well-worn and time-honored, the songs are expertly composed and delivered. Even the ballads, while perhaps too numerous here for my taste, are crafted well enough to make this old cynic sit up and listen. For example, the most sticky sweet song on the record, “Song About You” (the winner in a close race with “Right Now”), is somehow palatable, as the melody draws me in and the lyric flows beautifully, words unforced, powerfully strung together.
You take too many days sitting home alone,
And too much time staring at the telephone.
Add a little bit of crying all night long….
That’s how you write a song about you.
Because he is a Texan, Fears, of course, includes songs he’s written about the Lone Star State, including You Get Me’s title track, which is a rockin’ good tune about a Texas boy who loves to hit the bars for some real music (“You roll a little bit of Willie with a whole lot of Hank, and I think you get me.”) “Running Out of Texas” is a power ballad about chasing all over the state after a woman. (At this point the cynic in me is screaming out, “Dood, just let her go! Cheebus!” But no one ever listens to that advice, do they?) “California Country Girl” makes references to Willie and Waylon.
“Dead End Dirt Road” is my choice for the You Get Me's hit single. It’s a kickass country song, complete with fiddle, with a great line in the chorus: “Life in the fast lane don’t mean you’re on the highway.” Ain’t that the truth? (Take that, Mr. Henley!) The body of the song reminisces about Adam’s younger years. He lives, loves, and experiences a tragic loss that is exquisitely examined:
My best friend Baldwin was the life of the party.
I’ll never forget that call.
They said that he was no longer here,
And I tried and tried to hold in those tears,
But I just couldn’t keep ‘em in after all.
Having selected that song as the hit, I have to say that my favorite song on the album is the one that closes it out, “Rock It On.” Fears really lets his voice fly and there is some great instrumentation behind him, including piano keys that can only aptly be described as downright badass. Rock it on, indeed!
Either (a) I’m starting to like Nashville Country music, or (b) Adam Fears is something special. I’ll give you a hint: The answer ain’t (a). You Get Me establishes Adam Fears as a viable force on the Texas scene. Perhaps it’s the Nashville influence that has this record a bit heavy in the ballad department, or maybe Adam is simply still in love with love, but the album sure rocks enough to make me want to see this guy’s live show. Hey, maybe my wife will actually go with me to that one!
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