In highschool I always dreamed of some guy singing me to sleep, gently picking away at his guitar. I dated a musician for a while and he was cool, but never sang to me, mostly just to himself and sometimes to other people. I am happily married to a software engineer who would sing me to sleep if I asked, but I’d rather he didn’t. Joe Young, is the voice that every girl should want to sing her to sleep. This gentleman is a beautiful breath of reality and beauty in a world of highschool drama. His latest album “Old Hope” is something you should definitely check into.
The first notes are soft, resonant guitar voice. It’s a tiny bit bluegrass and so very lovely and romantic. “Get it Right” is about trying a relationship again that failed when we were younger. Young’s words are poignant, the melody is catchy and pretty. The guitar sounds like a memory and carries the vocals along the path of bittersweet reminiscence to the present full of hope and positivity.
“Comin’ Home” is written in the last hours of a long road trip. Home is so close that you can almost see it, almost taste it. The sights and sounds, tastes and smells are familiar, but your journey is not complete. You feel jumpy and peaceful, excited and expectant, yet impatient. Joe Young captures the beauty of the journey past and the glorious expectancy of the homecoming. The food, the family, the familiarity, the love you left behind to wait for you–it is all here. It is beautiful and nostalgic.
I love the slight float to the fingerpicking which opens up “Drift Away”. It feels like a breeze, a field of dandelions, their fluff being picked up by the air to be taken to new homes. The lyrics have a sense of longing, but not sadness. “I’ll be waiting for you where the ocean meets the land. We can lay out a blanket in the sand. We can head out way past the shore, let the warm sea take us away. You and I can drift away.” The lyrics are beautiful. They bring up memories which may or may not have happened yet. They feel like a part of Young’s own journey, his soul that he is sharing with me. For that, I am so thankful.
“Ohio”. I couldn’t pass this song up. I used to be skeptical of the people who lived here, think they were crazy for loving it so. I’ve lived here for two years and while I am not in love with the land, there is a certain charm to the places I have come to know here and a greatness in the pride that the people take in their home. But that is not what this song is about. This song is sad. “Take your man and go back to Ohio.” It’s a break up song and a new beginnings song. You can hear the emotion in Joe’s voice and the strength. The song builds, the lyrics proclaim greatness, being ok. The end of this relationship is not the end of happiness. “I’m just fine. A brand new woman in my arms tonight and you can bet I am the only man on her mind and I hope that you’re alone tonight.” This song is honest and beautiful. “Take your man and go back to Ohio. Don’t you dare look back at me.”
This album is a collection of some of the most honest and bare songs which I have ever listened to. It is beautiful. It has brought me to tears. I feel as though I have been through hard things and beautiful things with Joe Young. Like we have suffered loss together and sat on the top of a mountain to drink beer and watch the sun rise together. Joe Young does not know me, but I thank him for sharing so much of himself in his music because I feel as though I have gained a new friend. This album truly does bleed Joe Young and there is a fair bit of Joe Young in all of us because it is mostly just a beautiful display of humanity. So, if you are a human in your heart and soul, if you bleed when you are heartbroken and sing when you are happy–this album is for you. Buy art from artists. This is beauty.