By Clayton Chaney
Local Music Journalist
Artist: Ryan Bingham
Album Name: American Love Song
Release Date: Feb. 15, 2019
Label: Axster Bingham Records
… And stronger than ever. Yes, it is true: Ryan Bingham is back on the Texas country/Americana music scene with his newest album, American Love Song. His first release in nearly four years seems like it came from out of nowhere. Bingham has never been one to necessarily soak up the spotlight, so it’s always exciting to hear new things coming from him. He released three singles spaced out about a week apart, “Wolves,” “Jingle and Go,” and “Pontiac,” and then without any big announcement, hit us with the whole thing.
The album is packed with 15 classic Bingham jams. He’s always had authentic music that tells his life story without sugar coating anything, making it exceptionally relatable. However, this album feels like it’s on a whole new level, in a good way. He’s also been known to really pull at your heart strings with classics like “Every Wonder Why” and “Self-Righteous Wall,” which are a couple of my favorites but have definitely broken me down. However, Bingham is a king when it comes to redemption songs. “Wolves” sounds like it tells a story of what it feels like to have to keep your chin up and hold your own in the world.
As we all know, hard times are never truly gone for good, but like the rest of life, things come in waves. It seems like the best way to handle difficult times is to not look back and just roll with the punches, which feels like the theme of this album. Another stand out track that speaks to this is “What Would I’ve Become.” Bingham’s lyrics sound like he’s thinking back on the decisions he made in life to get to where he is without any regrets. For a topic that might be tough to overcome, he’s shed a peaceful light on it. Life goes on and purely because of that, we have a reason to keep our heads up and stay hopeful for better days to come.
It’s not all just redemption songs; Bingham still gets rowdy with his honky tonk tunes like “Got Damn Blues,” a faster paced track with solid deep guitar riffs that will make you stand tall and proud. This is a loud one that’ll get your foot tapping and put a mean grin on your face. We can all get down in the dumps and catch a case of the blues, but true character is shown when and how you bounce back from it.
Bingham sounds like he’s in a really good place with this album, which makes me feel good after he disappeared from the scene for a little while. The album is solid and mature in every way, and every song sounds crisp, which is something that hasn’t always been the case. His music never beats around the bush; he’ll tell you how he feels, whether it’s good or bad, it doesn’t matter– just as long as it’s real.