Stepping aside from Lady Antebellum and into the solo spotlight, Grammy nominated artist Charles Kelley has finally released his debut album: The Driver. Opening with the light hearted and toe tapping, country infused rock power ballad, Your Love, with its infectious chorus and serious riffs, it sets a vibrant tone of what’s in store. Following with the epic lead single The Driver, before taking a detour with the quirky little surprise of Lonely Girl. Taking a slinky melody and combining it with a punchy beat, evolving the track into an almost pop inspired R&B number.
And while The Driver is a balance of ballad and up-tempo tunes, it’s also home to some stunning duets. From the smooth southern croon of, I Wish You Were Here featuring country darling Miranda Lambert, with its simplistic melody being the perfect backing for this set of strong and striking voices. To the absolute highlight of the album, Southern Accents, with Stevie Nicks. Taking a soft piano tune to put Kelley’s own Southern accent on show, as a building beat introduces Nicks as their voices swirl together, singing in perfect harmony. It’s everything you could need from a song, there’s rise and fall with an incredible chemistry, and it’s one you wont be forgetting any time soon.
The Driver features so many tracks that are musically removed from distinct sound of Lady Antebellum, with Kelley taking a strong stride into gritty rock territory. And while it’s new and exciting to hear this done, with him adding new depth to each track through his signature country croon, the lyrical message is sometimes lost within production. With lines and vocals being overshadowed by a melody that texturally feels akin. Which is why the most memorable tracks come from the unexpected, songs that shock you ever so slightly, tunes that hook you from their openings chords – and there is quite a few of those gems scattered throughout The Driver, making Charles Kelley’s country infused rock n roll a rousing experience.