Canadian country singer Dallas Smith tries to make it in the U.S.
Canadian country singer Dallas Smith released his EP, “Lifted,” Monday, hoping his hits will catch on in America.
Smith has made significant progress in his career already and doesn’t seem like he should just now be releasing an EP album. He is the first Canadian country artist to have eight singles reach the Top 10 in Canadian Radio. His song “Tippin’ Point” was the fastest Canadian country single to go Gold in history, and it eventually went platinum. However, not many Americans know his name.
It seems with Smith’s track record, “Lifted” would be full of hits that will catch on quickly in the U.S. But, just when you buy the album, thinking Smith is about to be everyone’s favorite up-and-coming artist, he falls short.
Although Smith has a solid twangy voice in “Wastin’ Gas,” the first song on the album, as soon as he sings about driving around in a truck with a girl, you have to instantly think, “This again?”
It isn’t just the lyrics that feel all too familiar — the entire feel of the album seems to have been done numerous times before. It is as if you are listening to an array of cliché country songs all blended into one, not Smith's own sound.
The next track, “Cheap Seats,” starts off saying, “Summer time wasn’t long enough / livin’ slow and lovin’ fast.” A song about a summer romance? How original. As the song goes on, Smith redeems himself, and shows a glimmer of originality, as this song is in fact about attending a concert more than a summer escapade.
Luckily, as the album continues, Smith’s tracks seem to steadily get better. “Heat Rises” sounds like a radio hit. The one hiccup that is hard to ignore is his use of the phrase, “Your body is a wonderland.” Was he also channeling John Mayer along with the countless male country artists this album resembles?
His best record on the album is undoubtably “Tippin’ Point.” The lyrics shy away from the clichés — finally. They are actually artfully written and catchy, and Smith finally shines. It has a raw feel, possibly because this is the only live track on the album. It’s obvious why “Tippin’ Point” is the single that has received the most praise since its first release in 2013.
Maybe if Smith flipped the track lineup of his album, it wouldn’t have been as initially off-putting. As I worked my way through the album, I started to realize why he has had significant success already.
Maybe “How I Met Your Mother” was right in saying The Great White North is a few years behind America. Or, it could be that everything has already been done, as most country music does follow a similar list of topics.
Either way, once you get past the first two tracks, Smith is worth listening to, and has a lot of potential to catch on. After he completes his tour throughout Canada, he is scheduled to appear at Country Thunder, a yearly country music festival that takes place in Arizona, where he could further expand his fan base in the States.
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