Album Review: Dan+Shay - Where It All Began

With Where It All Began Dan+Shay may have themselves the breakout album of 2014, the kind of record that many newcomers would love to have. But does that mean it suggests a duo who can be around for a long time to come? lets find out.

Where It All Began kicks off with two potential smash radio hits in “Show You Off” and “Stop Drop And Roll,” songs written (like “19 You + Me”) with songwriting partner Danny Orton, who ended up co-producing the album with Dan Smyers and Scott Hendricks. there’s a youthful happiness in these love songs, the same sort of vibe I had the first time I heard Keith Urban’s first album, Rascal Flatts’ debut album and, more recently, Hunter Hayes’s self-titled album. Dan + Shay make interesting country/pop music with infectious melodies. 

Every song from Where It All Began could be a single on modern Country radio and the lyrics and delivery help enhance this possibility, like future smash “What You Do To Me,” a song which is so likable that it’s amazing it wasn’t the first single from the album. Every song on Where It All Began was co-written by Dan and Shay. A few of the songs were co-written with a-list songwriters like Ben Hayslip, Rhett Akins, Cary Barlowe, Nicolle Galyon, Ashley Gorley, Cary Barlowe and Chris DeStefano, with the latter having a hand in producing “Nothin’ Like You,” a song that is melodic and sweet and youthful, something that could be said about everything on Where It All Began, honestly. 

The majority of Where It All Began blends together into mid-tempo love songs but there are a couple of interesting, strong ballads in the closer “Close Your Eyes” and the absolutely stunning “I Heard Goodbye.” This performance could give the duo a pop crossover if they wanted and it also might be Shay Mooney’s best vocal on the entire album. Everything about Where It All Began feels like the album will indeed be the point where the duo and fans point to and say, this really is Where It All Began. Not bad for the music world’s latest ‘overnight sensation.’