Album Review: Charlie Worsham - "Beginning Of Things"

Charlie Worsham brings plenty of personality and musical dexterity to his sophomore release for Warner Music Nashville.

After what seems like an eternity, respected singer/songwriter/musician Charlie Worsham is back and where other artists have stumbled on their sophomore album, he triumphs. "Please People Please" gets the album off to a blues-soaked start and immediately tells us that this record isn't going to be all that much like his debut Rubberband was. Beginning Of Things is interesting in that it recalls the great early Eric Church records in that Beginning of Things is a record made by an artist with a vision for who he is and where he wants his career to go. While Charlie Worsham seems to have let go of mainstream aspirations at the moment but don't for one second feel like Beginning of Things cannot and is not mainstream country music. It truly is, even with that gritty blues soaked rocker "Please People Please" batting leadoff. It's a mission statement in and of itself with lyrics which tell of a man who is befuddled by humanity's nature to mess stuff up over and over again. "The Beginning of Things" finds Worsham in storyteller mode with a brilliantly laid out song with the right amount of instrumentation to tell the story of a man who is always gung-ho to do stuff but quickly tires of them to move onto his next conquest, even if that conquest was a relationship, house and a child. All things he left behind.

"Southern By The Grace Of God" is another melodic wonder where Worsham brings in Americana feels for a story song that avoids to feel like another 'me too' type of song with a well-worn theme such as this one. Instead, we get strong instrumentation, production (from Frank Liddell and Eric Masse). With "Call You Up," Charlie brings the heat with interesting harmonics, strings, horns and his inventive guitars as he sings an insanely sexy song with a Hall & Oates like style to his vocals. Quirky "Lawn Chair Don't Care" may be just that while "Only Way To Fly" feels ready for prime time country airwaves. "Cut Your Groove," the first official radio single from the album, feels like a song that may have been said before but for Charlie it reads true as he sings about being who you are and creating a great life that is singular in its success. The depth of his country music storyteller roots show up on "Old Times Sake," a song which recalls Prine and Browne in lyrical storytelling.

The title song from Charlie Worsham's debut album, "Rubberband," hinted at songs like "Birthday Suit," "Please People Please," and "I Ain't Goin' Nowhere" while closer "Take Me Drunk" recalls the classic outlaw style of the 1970s. "Birthday Suit" is a musically interesting song in that it is more 90s Alt Country Rock than it is alt-country while having a manic chorus. All of these songs bring us back to what we mentioned in the beginning: Charlie Worsham is a talent. He has the ability to be a star and Beginning of Things is a triumph even if it feels a bit scattershot at times.