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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Night Life

Ray Price

1963

Night Life
Album Summary

Night Life is the sixth album by country western singer and guitarist Ray Price, backed by his regular touring band, the Cherokee Cowboys. The album was released in 1963 on the Columbia Records label. The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.79

Votes

9946
Genres
Country

Reviews

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Thu May 13 2021
2

Every night I feast in complete darkness. Once, I accidentally ate a Puerto Rican kid's ashes. His family were not happy.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
3

Oh, boy. People making out to Hee Haw on the cover. Doesn't bode well. But then, Ray invites me to take off my shoes and enjoy his album. Huh. Linkin Park never invited me to take off my shoes - instead, they made me wear uncomfortable surplus army boots. Night Life gets bluesy - no mentions of broken trucks or sad dogs. Well, never mind. Lonely Street hits all of the tropes - damn, Ray. Pick yourself up, take off your shoes, and go enjoy the night life! Even so, there's a Roy Orbison quality to it - kinda like that late nineties country/pop crossover trend (no slide guitar? It's Hootie! Slide guitar? It's Darius Rucker!). Sittin' and Thinkin' - "I got loaded last night on a bottle of gin"? He just comes out and says it - I think this is probably pretty risqué for the time; 15 years later, Jimmy Buffett will make fun of the country music tendency to dance around topics, and he penned "Why don't we get drunk..." as a parody of those songs. Ray doesn't quite get there (he skips the "...and screw" part), but the first step is admitting you have a problem. He still cries for an entire hour each day - so clearly there are some unresolved issues there. Bright lights and blonde haired women - "I'm getting sick and tired of being lit up like a Christmas tree" - wow. Look, Ray, you left your brunette woman at home with a single dim bulb hanging from a chain in the middle of the room. You ain't going back. Just get used to being drunk and hanging out with the easy blonde girls. You chose this life. Take off your shoes, get your crying over with, and do what you gotta do. Overall review - I didn't hate this. Look, I'm not going to be jamming to this while sitting in carpool or docking a pontoon boat, but it is infinitely better than the mid-nineties "been working hard all week, got my good jeans on, I love America" crap that country music turned into. Ray seems like he'd be fun to hang out with - I just gotta make sure I'm "on a work call" for that one hour of crying per day...

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Sun Jun 27 2021
2

It's hard for me to sometimes give such low scores to music that sounds so honest. But within the context of this list, where it's supposed to be about albums that are actually crucial to the history of modern music, or about albums that maybe weren't that influential but are notable by themselves, this one for me doesn't come as a member of any of these two categories. Is it good music? Yes. Is it something I had to listen to get something that I wouldn't be able to get from any other album? I hardly think so

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Fri Jun 17 2022
5

The introduction really set the tone by making the album feel more personal. Can't think of a record that starts with one, but I love it here. This is some real tears-in-your-beer kind of music, but I am here for it. Lyrically, it's great, and vocally, it's superb. Ray Price is a hell of a singer, and really conveys those emotions directly into me. Also, holy hell, Willie Nelson on bass and backing vocals? Neat. Favorite tracks: "Night Life", "Sittin' and Thinkin'", "There's No Fool Like a Young Fool"

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Fri Jun 11 2021
4

I'm really digging this classic country. I'm so glad records like this are included in this list. It's a refreshing break from the constant onslaught of 60's-era rock this list is littered with.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
4

I didn’t find any favorites here, but a very classic country sound with lots of steel and slide guitar. Cool find, should know the artist at least.

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Sun Jan 01 2023
5

10/10 - woeful as fuck makes we wanna get a trad wife and be emotionally absent to her

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

Whether you like country or not, there are some finely crafted songs on this album delivered by some magnificent musicians and Price, who is an engaging singer with a great voice. There’s an undertone of darkness and restlessness throughout and you can depict the seediness of the nightclubs Price frequents. Frankly, if you’re not enjoying that fiddling and a backing band known as The Cherokee Cowboys; or you aren’t vibing with songs like Bright Lights and Blonde Haired Women then I don’t even want to know you.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
4

A focused set of country takes, but in the honky-tonk style which has never completely won me over. Comparisons to Sinatra are ubiquitous; For my part I'll say that Price doesn't have the affect problem I mentioned. There's solid fiddling on several tunes as well, elevating the music above the level of the rest of the playing.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
3

What if Frank Sinatra was from Bikini Bottom?

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Tue Nov 21 2023
2

Fine as background music on this Monday morning before Thanksgiving, but let’s be honest, this sounds like just about every other country record from the late 50’s or early 60’s that you’ve ever heard.

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Mon Oct 02 2023
5

Wonderful old-timey country, reminded me of Patsy Cline and kd lang. A terrific listen for the day.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

Cool sounds, familiar from samples, sent me down some fun rabbit holes

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

Very odd framing in he album’s intro bit, leading into a straight forward but very good honky tonk record.

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Thu Oct 05 2023
2

this would go so hard in a jpegmafia mashup

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Wed May 19 2021
5

I loved this. Pipe smoking rocking chair evening scotch music. Gonna explore this guy's catalog

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Mon Aug 09 2021
5

Sorta country, sorta lounge and kinda frank sinatra. Pretty darn good!

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Loved it, transported to the 60s

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

It's like an Alcoholic's Blues album. Loved it.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Damn this is some good shit.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Like the old country. Almost has an Elvis feel to it. Would definitely try some of his other music.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

I am constantly impressed with early country songwriting. Ray really nails it here. At this rate, I may have to start saying I like country.

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Sun Feb 12 2023
5

I absolutely love the mood and atmosphere of this album. I often think of music in terms of "day music" and "night music" and this is pretty much THE epitome of night music. Bittersweet and seductive. Romantic but honest. I feel like almost any professional musician would have to identify with that title track. I remember hearing Willie Nelson's version of it first when I was a kid, and I love that version too, but there is something about this version that is so much more haunting. The rest of the album doesn't quite have the same magic as that opening track, but it's still top notch crying-in-your-beer country. The playing, production, and arrangements are all spot on. I especially love that splash of reverb on the vocals. The fact that the songs all adhere to that theme of the trials and tribulations of life in the bar scene is what makes it so great (and believable). A perfectly executed concept album before concept albums were a thing. The intro is a bit goofy, but quaint in an old fashioned way. And goddamn that cover is so cinematic.

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

Honky Tonk goes Music Row. A slick slice of the seedier life by a master of singing.

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Thu Mar 23 2023
5

Honestly very nice. I don’t really listen to this genre of music but it is surprisingly calming.

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Mon Jul 10 2023
5

Honestly every one’s a fuckin’ banger.

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Mon Oct 02 2023
5

Honky-tonkin’ heartbreak, drinking’ and depression… Some real classic country from a real master, this album shines a stark light on the Night Life. Each song is a cautionary tale targeting a variety of potential victims of the night life. As Ray suggests in the introduction to this Columbia album, I enjoyed sittin’ back, kickin’ off my shoes and listenin’ to Night Life. Just the perfect accompaniment to an evening of cocktails. Maybe someday I’ll make it to one of those dances…

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Mon Oct 02 2023
5

I wasn’t sure that this country album would hit the spot for me, and it was a little slow to warm. But as it ended, I wanted to start it again…and I did…and really appreciated what Ray Price delivered.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

Amazing soft bluesy rock kind of album

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Sun Oct 29 2023
5

Really good and had never heard of him.

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Mon Dec 18 2023
5

Love this album. Ray Price has a lovely voice

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Mon Dec 18 2023
5

just some good old twangy heartbroken country music. A lot of the songs have a similar rhythm and feel but they all tell stories, some a little more bluesy, some a little more bluegrassy. the only knock is that the lyrics can be pretty simplistic (A Girl in the Night), but thats country baby, this is definitely easy listening! This album makes me think of passing through a little stopover town to have a drink at a local dive bar and falling in love with a townie.

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

Perfect soundtrack to a sad dance in a Western bar with Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

Lovely and short, doesn't bore at any moment nor becomes repetitive or tedious as every song is very discernible and unique

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Thu Jan 25 2024
5

Don't let the charity shop cover put you off. I'm new to Price, but took straight away to his voice. It has a purity that reminds me of Patsy Cline and a hangdog guilt that puts me in mind of some of Johnny Cash's catalogue (e.g. Sunday Morning Coming Down). The album is strongly themed, with vignettes featuring a long line of honky tonk women living the "Night Life" hanging out in bars. For the 1960s, the songs aren't actually that judgemental of these women - well, hardly more than Price is of himself for choosing this lifestyle. He asks them "Are You Sure?", but I think he's asking himself the same thing.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
5

Classic smooth country, not a bad song in the bunch.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

Oikein mukavaa countryrallattelua. Ei tätä genreä mielestäni oikein paremmin voi toteuttaa. Laulajan ääni oli miellyttävä, ja vaikka biiseissä ei suurempia erikoisuuksia ollutkaan, toimi kokonaisuus erittäin hienosti. Yleisenä musiikkinautintona antaisin tästä kolmosen, mutta nyt pitää kyllä antaa genressään lähes virheettömästä suorituksesta pieni boonus.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

Nunca había escuchado antes a este hombre y me ha alegrado la mañana. Disco de country americano y género muy poco tocado por mí, pero gran descubrimiento.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

A very fine and soulful country album. 8.1/10

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

Elvis Costello introduced me to the Nashville sound (Almost Blue) and both cover the dark “sitting and thinking”. Cloying sentimentality of early 60s USA. Magnificent.

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Wed Sep 08 2021
4

I was fixing a greasy mower while this was on. Could not find a filthier panegyric for this album, I really liked it. Felt like I was transported to the era

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Good classic hony-tonkish country. I've heard the name Ray Price before, but don't really recall ever hearing any of his music. I threw the album on and started doing some minor research on its history and saw that Willie Nelson is credited on a couple tracks. Then notice that one of them was "Are You Sure", which is a song that I first heard on Lost (yeah, yeah...) and I immediately fell in love with it. It's probably the moment I started really taking a lot of the classic, outlaw type country more seriously and I'd just never realized it had an earlier incarnation. This is just great news! Oh, and the album here is solid. Not much to complain about. 4 stars!

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Thu Dec 16 2021
4

Kind of a concept album. A little bluesy, deep and lonesome songs drenched in barlight, spilled whisky and regret. The tunes still hold up today.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
4

Hyggeligt, jazzet, bluesy country. Vild stemme. Ritti godt

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Sun Jan 02 2022
4

Feeling ill, so I'm listening to this and reading Dickens. Somehow they go together!

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Very smooth, "feelsy" album. Would be good for nighttime listening

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Fri Jan 14 2022
4

I thought that I was not a big country fan but it might be more that I’m not a big modern country fan. Ray Price was great and what I would think of as old school country.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

Enjoyable. Classic honky tonk music with a bit of a sleepy, sometimes torchy vibe. It takes a few songs to settle into it, then it's pretty great. The only drag on the whole thing honestly is that weird intro, which was really unnecessary. Fave Songs: Pride, If She Could See Me Now, Bright Lights and Blonde Haired Women, Sittin' and Thinkin', The Twenty-Fourth Hour, Night Life

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Good stuff. I'ma sound old here, but I love the old country and can't stomach new country. It reminds me of 80's hair rock. Only diff is that the lyrics aren't about partying. They're about drinking alone, sitting on tractors they've probably never driven, and supporting white supremacy. The lyrics haven't changed much, but the music has.

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Mon Feb 21 2022
4

This is a lot of fun. Would make a great movie soundtrack, too, which is my bias reflecting how this style of music is sometimes used in movies I've liked. I so rarely listen consciously to country & western like this, and it's nice to hear that swing beat. Could waltz to a lot of this. He croons perfectly for this style. Nice album.

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Fri Mar 04 2022
4

I really the fact that the album has an intro to put the listener in the mood. It was the best beginning of an album of this genre I've ever heard. I'm a fan of this era and this kind of country/crooner singers. They give a strong impression of their time. It's weird to say, but their music is timelessly outdated and that's the best part of it.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

eu vo sair desse trem a própria sandy bochechas

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

Curti, um bom álbum pra ouvir sozinho à noite. 7/10

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

Just good classic country. A simple beat and melody that just make you happy. Another of what my grandpa would call "attitude adjustment music" type of album. And Willie Nelson played bass and sang on this album too which makes it even cooler.

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Fri Jun 17 2022
4

Sweet and charming country music.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
4

Some great downtrodden, melancholy country songs. Lapsteel guitar features prominently and when Ray Price really breaks out his majestic voice it’s sure to impress

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Fri Jul 15 2022
4

A very enjoyable experience and nice classic swing and vocals. Certainly you need to be in a specific mood to enjoy though.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

Lush and rich and shadowy, despite the countrypolitan sheen. VIntage in the best sense and Americana-ish (weird, old division) plus Lynchian and this is how cool country could/can be.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

Well hi neighbors. I’m so glad to be introduced to this. Started and listened, because the famous name, then hung around for that unbelievable voice, steel guitar, fiddle, piano, strings, bass. Every line perfectly enunciated. (Perfect in its own way). Yessiree all of it right thar.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

Hell this is good fun honky tonk!

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Wed Oct 12 2022
4

4.1 - Being a total sucker for lap steel guitar, I loved this record! I also love the songs themed around (not surprisingly) the perils of night life. Ray Price sings with a baritone twang about pursuing “honky-tonk angels” and about keeping company with barflies.

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Sun Oct 23 2022
4

Some more country greats. I really enjoyed "Are You Sure?", though I think I still prefer the Willie Nelson version. I also liked how the album kind of opens with an ad for the album itself. "Hope you like this one! If you like it, buy it and we'll make more like it!" BOLD

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Mon Oct 24 2022
4

Really lovely lounge country songs, sung beautifully with Willie Nelson involved. U great deal to enjoy. Best song is the title track.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
4

Just my kind of background music :D

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Sun Feb 12 2023
4

Really solid country, I love the low-down bar stories, and the lonely guitars. I'm glad the "introduction" trend did not catch on, it feels like a weird commercial where he's required to rep the label and promise the fans that he'll promise cranking out hits. Though there is something funny and charming about it. Favorites are "Night LIfe" and "Sittin' and Thinkin'". Some of these songs are just ridiculously similar to each other, which makes the album wear out prematurely.

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Thu Feb 16 2023
4

Very soothing and nice to listen to when you have to study.

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Thu Mar 09 2023
4

Deftly blends darkness with some countrypolitan-ish sheen and upbeat bounce in the playing. "Honky Tonk Angel" is aces. Title cut is classic, though with many other excellent versions.

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Wed Mar 15 2023
4

Not a country music expert by any means and the album won’t make me start listening to it more, but I appreciate how polished this album is. Clear dreamy vocals, reverb laden lead guitars, plodding bass. This is what I imagine a barn slow dance would sound like. Also appreciate that this is trying to be a concept album at an era where this wasn’t the done thing.

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Fri Mar 17 2023
4

Probably enjoyable after a few listens. Will that ever happen thought?

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Thu Mar 23 2023
4

whew that hit my sweet spot for orchestral mid-century twang fronted by a golden voice, i am not joking

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Thu Apr 06 2023
4

This is a concept album and I'm into it. Willie Nelson wrote on this. I love that it's set up like a program where he introduces the album verbally. It feels like we're at the show, seated right behind the two love birds sitting in front of us. Cowboy blues meets jazzy night club. Pedal steel, honkytonk piano, crooner, but country blues songs. This is right up my alley. Night Life: Around 2 min mark, the left channel pedal steel is juicy AF. Really nice experience listening throughout. I love this era of music production.

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Sun Apr 09 2023
4

I hate ("modern") country music, but somehow the older stuff always clicks with me. I enjoyed this album. The subject matter is depressing, though. Every song is about alcohol enthusiasm, but I guess country music is always about how shit it all is. Would listen to it again.

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Mon Apr 17 2023
4

Very pleasant country-western album. Nice short songs, subtle instrumentation, honestly a very pleasant listening experience.

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Mon Apr 17 2023
4

Great combination honky tonk and western swing. Ray Price has a wonderful baritone voice that cuts through the instrumentation. This album was released at a crucial point in Ray Price's career as he was embracing the lush Nashville Sound while still retaining some of the Honky Tonk in which he cut his teeth.

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Sat May 06 2023
4

4.5, really enjoyed this. Not quite perfect enough for a 5 but very damn close

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Tue May 09 2023
4

I liked it. It reminded me a little of Roy Orbison

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Wed May 10 2023
4

I am not big into this particular style of music, though he does have a nice voice (I can sort of hear my Grandpa in his pronunciation). Definitely not an album I would listen to casually, but if it were playing in a restaurant, bar, or even in a movie, I'd be okay with it! "Night Life" is genuinely good. "Sittin' and Thinkin'" is even actually, surprisingly, good. This is not stuff I usually like, but I think I like his voice enough that my general distaste for country music is overridden. This might be the only actual country album I like. 4/5.

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Thu Jul 06 2023
4

nah actually had such a great time listening to this, late night and having a whisky kinda music I love it

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Mon Jul 31 2023
4

This sounds almost like a live album. He talks through the first "song" and says tonight a few times. It's weird to say that I "grew up" with this stuff. It's soooo simple. Nothing crazy. Nothing flashy. Don't know why I like it. I shouldn't like it.

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Thu Aug 31 2023
4

I love listening to old country! 4/5

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Sat Sep 02 2023
4

It wasn't a secret to myself, but I'm finding that I really like old school country music. This has a lot to like. The intro is a bit weird but was worth hearing once I guess but thankfully the rest of the album is pretty solid. Not 5 star good, but really good. Will return for more of this.

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Sun Sep 03 2023
4

I really liked this now ! I’ll definitely give some of his other music a listen

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