The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

CD Review: The Right Place Zane Williams

By Joshua Knopp/reporter

Zane Williams is a fresh face of country music, his first album Hurry Home having been released just three years ago. His second album, The Right Place, was released this month, but it’s not as enjoyable.

The songs can be divided into three sections, the first being light-hearted country ballads. These songs, “The Right Place” and “99 Bottles,” share a mood and a setting — a bar.

They even have a story in common, to a degree, as they are both about troubles melting away though “The Right Place” is more an invitational song to the bar while “99 Bottles” is a story about troubles leaving upon the entry of a cadre of the fairer sex.

Individually, these songs are exemplary of the album — not much good, but not much bad either. While they could be misplaced as singles (contrary to the fact that Williams has released “The Right Place” as the first from this album), they are good openers to the album.

The second section is the largest, the songs on relationships. To Williams’ credit, he does not fall into the trap of writing many songs about the same set of feelings.

“Tired of Being Perfect” is about a relationship failing because of the other person’s requirements and pressures on him. “River Girl” is about a magical night with a young lady. “Live to Love Again” tells young ladies everywhere that when their heart is broken, it will be mended.I Am What I Am” is a declaration of love, stating that he would give his woman any of a list of great things if he had them.

“Six Steel Strings,” a song far deeper than the others in this section, is about “The war between what we do and who we do it for.” And “The Cowboy and the Clown” speaks of a lady-friend of Williams’ who wants a cowboy but settles for a clown.

The majority of the songs in this section bear the same marks as those of the preceding section, but this section also lacks passion. Williams makes it quite plain that these relationships aren’t very important to him. No, one doesn’t have to be in/out of love to write a love song, but if the listener can tell that the singer doesn’t really care about the subject matter, it’s not going to come across well.

A notable exception is “Six Steel Strings.” The lyrics are well-written enough to make up for a lack of passion and add a dimension of thought not present in any other song. It’s believable that Williams sings from the heart here, and it’s the only song in the album that Williams’ voice seems to fit well into.

The third section breaks the mold of powerless music with a sudden emotional evocation.

“Pablo and Maria” is a gorgeous ballad of a woman who commits suicide after her fiancé’s murder on their wedding night. It is by far the best song on the album and maintains its quality when placed in a larger pool of general music.

“Christmas Feels like Christmas Again,” while evocative, is nowhere near as good. The opening stanza is powerful, but the rest of it is fairly weak, and it doesn’t help that the song bears both seasonal and religious partialness.

It seems that even when Williams does overcome his seeming abhorrence for power in his music, he only gets it right half the time.

The album does have its good parts. “Six Steel Strings” and “Pablo and Maria” both deserve listens, and the other songs can be good in the right mood.

But underneath an avalanche of consistent and major shortcomings, these sets of situational enjoyability do not allow album to receive passing marks.

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