Album Review: Emily Crawford – Loving Like Fools
If pop country is your gig, you really have to give Emily Crawford a listen. She’s great at what she does, gettin’ them boots a’kickin’. I actually typed a smile emoji while I was listening to the opening track. Need I say more? Crawford’s vocals are on point, the production is great, and this is definitely the “bubble gum” version of country music. Sweet, tasty, and just keeps on going.
“My Wings Won’t Fit” has a great clappable rhythm. There’s even an unexpected banjo that crops up on the break, making for a delicious track. You can just imagine a crowd – no an ARENA – full of people singing along to this kind of music. The second track “I love you more” is every bit as addictive in its sweet tones and upbeat tempo. It puts me in the mind a bit of The Harmaleighs, a band that I fell in love with last year. The layered vocals and romantic content is absolutely perfect for Crawford’s overall sound.
“Will You Be Mine” has a little bit more bite to it. There’s something in the guitars that makes it feel more like a later era of country music. The banjo and Crawford’s soprano vocals still steal the show. The nostalgic elements of falling in love as kids really makes this one feel extra “country.” The guitar part on “Making Us Sane” is fantastic. It introduces the intimacy of Crawford’s lead vocal perfectly. The song discusses the difficulty of coping with a fight; anyone in a relationship for more than about a month can relate to the emotions here. And those of us who are creatives can really understand coping with those emotions through art and the optimistic turn at the end makes it all worthwhile. I hesitate to call something “perfect,” but this is a pretty darn good song. It should be widely shared.
“Did You Ever Love Me” is the “single” off of this record of really solid songs. It’s the kind of song that would make a great country hit if the corporate machine would play real music. Okay, okay maybe that’s a bit strong. But seriously this is an excellent song. It’s about longing and desire. It’s a confessional, deeply moving song that encourages a real sense of personal development. The title track “Loving Like Fools” is one of the least country songs on the album, putting forth more of a crossover pop sound. The song expresses another element of romantic attraction, using a nature metaphor. It works.
I think “Lovable” is my favorite track on the album. It comes across as sort of softly nestled in with these other more anthemic songs, but it packs a heck of a punch. Crawford’s vocal absolutely cuts through on it. Something about the pacing of it is beautiful and reminds me of something George Strait would have done about twenty years ago. The subtle vocal harmonies with a few minor chord turns really make the hair on the back of my neck stand right up; it’s pretty darn adorable. The final track “Peace is Here” is not what you’d expect; it’s a two step, slowed down and stripped down. It’s a nice way to leave the album, even if it isn’t the purest country song on the album.
All told, this is an album that many fans will enjoy if they give it a shot. Crawford has legitimate singing talent. The band’s work around her allows for the songs to portray some intriguing messages. Situated somewhere between classic and contemporary country, Crawford brings melodies and themes that are pleasing to the ear and sure to tug a bit on your heart.