Dan + Shay: Dan + Shay

review dan and shay x1 cong

This album sees US country duo Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney take a laid-back, pop approach to country that in places is almost boyband/commercial RnB in sound. It’s enjoyable and playable.

They sing about everyday things that every one can relate to: opener Alone Together is about two lonely souls in a bar: “I couldn’t help but notice / You were sitting by yourself / Dropping limes in like a Corona / Like you’re trying to get over somebody else / It’s funny how your story / Sounds a little like mine / Because I am at a table / With a bottle peeling labels to pass the time.” That and the title tell the story but it’s thoughtful and, probably importantly, doesn’t smack of a man out to hit on chicks as per more macho country: he’s in touch with his feminine side, so both men and women can singalong.

Track two Tequila opens with piano and, despite the title, is more about remembering the good times than drinking: “tequila” rhymes with “see ya” and “leave ya”. We should imagine this easy-on-the-ear pop country is now staple of country music stations in the US.

Various other genres are at least nodded to, if not heard: Tequila’s opening piano could herald a dance track, and there is a shadow of reggae and even some scratching. None of it’s loud but there are slower numbers, such as the vaguely Prince—ish What Keeps You Up at Night (the answer being the absence of a loved one). Some people might find it too commercial and slick, but it plays well.

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