Perhaps the tallest newcomer in Country music since Trace Adkins or Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, California native Jon Pardi has been working towards the release of Write You A Song for at least the past few years. Known for and originally signed to his record deal because of a strong live show, Pardi first came to the world’s attention with Top 30 hit “Missin’ You Crazy” in 2012 but it took last year’s release of the current single “Up All Night” to getWrite You A Song in our hands and upon first listen to the album, it blends Pardi’s natural honky tonk tendencies with the more current rock/country crossover vibes which permeate much of the mainstream’s sound. Write You A Song is an album with the backroads, parties, and more but with that honky tonk vibe, it doesn’t feel like an alt-country or alt-rock collection and instead is most definitely a Country music album.
“What I Can’t Put Down” (one of 10 tracks co-written by Jon Pardi on the album) finds Jon using metaphors about what he can and can’t do, like living balls to the wall, full throttle, 100% effort throughout his life and what he does, be it playing his music, having a good time or loving his girl. The title track is a honky tonk raver that places Pardi in the same class of artist as Josh Thompson while “That Man” is loaded down with loads of steel guitars and fiddles to once again remind us that Jon Pardi is a Country music artist. You know, in many ways, this debut album reminds me of Luke Bryan’s debut I’ll Stay Me, an album of Country songs from an artist who does know who he is and who he’ll remain. As he sings, Jon Pardi “is that man.”
There’s quite a blend of Roadhouse and mainstream Country and Honky Tonk sounds here (“Happens All The Time,” “Love You From Here”) and he excels on songs lil “Chasin’ Them Better Days” (a potential radio hit) and “Trashin’ A Hotel Room,” the lone song he didn’t write on the album, (Matt Jenkins and Aaron Goodvin did). The melodies are interesting, the songwriting is tight and Pardi is in strong voice throughout Write You A Song, which is all anyone can ask from a debut album and for anyone looking for someone to anoint as a potential ‘savior’ of Country music, Pardi may just be that guy for you.