The unlikely duo made a retro rock album and nailed it
On more than a few occasions in music history, artists have come together that no one ever thought would. From Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony to Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, respectively talented acts have teamed up to do something brilliant. Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings are music’s latest odd couple, and they have having themselves a moment with their debut album Sometimes Y.
As far as street cred goes, Sometimes Y already have it. Yelawolf won over audiences opening for Korn and Stone Sour on 2017, and Shooter Jennings’ country albums have plenty of rock ‘n’ roll swagger to them. Nonetheless, Sometimes Y wasn’t what we expected from these two rebels.
This record was built for vinyl. After one digital spin, fans will be aching for a real old-fashioned pressing. Once you drop the needle and hear the first hiss, you can see every song like an 8mm film in your mind whilst laying on your bedroom floor.
The album’s title track kicks things off with a spacey 80s arena rock intro. Then, it springs into some classic Aerosmith-like riffage. Bouncing back and forth between new wave and southern-fried rock, the song can’t quite make up it’s mind and that’s what makes it cool.
“Radio” makes you wonder if Yelawolf and Jennings own a DeLorean. It’s a rocker with an edgy darkness to it that makes you feel like your cruising down the road in a leather jacket with your shades still on even though the sun has all but disappeared behind the horizon. There’s something great about listening to a song that gives you trouble deciding what decade it was recorded in.
The melancholy “Catch You On The Other Side” is a heart-wrenching ballad à la Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” A gorgeous piano melody and soaring chorus solidify the lyrical content about the burning desire to reconnect with old love that was given up on; a notion not lost upon most. By the time the guitar solo kicks in, you may find yourself picking up the phone to make a long-overdue call to someone you used to know.
While it’s very hard to choose, “Jump Out The Window” might be the album’s crown jewel. The fist-pumping anthem is accompanied by a nostalgic melody that makes for a perfect moment. You can here hints of The Killers, U2, and The Cars to name a few. The overall feel of the track is super Springsteen-esque. It’s a strong album anchor that has potential to be one of the great songs of this era.
From top to bottom, Sometimes Y soars. The songs will take you places, for better or worse. Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings absolutely nailed it. This album is an achievement.
Finally, this record needs to be taken on the road and performed live.
“What can I really say about this body of work we put together other than its fucking killer,” Yelawolf said of the record’s release. “I’m so damn proud of this band and Shooter’s production. It’s been a long time coming to get to this point in my career, and personally a goal long overdue that I set to achieve much earlier in life, but it would never have been the same had I done it before. It’s bittersweet to know it’s finally out. We’ve been sitting on it for nearly two years and I relished listening to it in private. It was like having the raddest shit I’d ever done and no one had a clue what I was sitting on. I’m stoked to carry my existing fans into this new chapter and to bring all these new fans into the house of rock and roll that we just added another room too.”
Jennings added, “In 2020, after a decade of expressing a desire to collaborate, alongside band members Jamie Douglass, Ted Russell Kamp and John Schreffler, Yelawolf and I finally came together to create Sometimes Y. The project itself is a reflection of our mutual love and admiration for the history of music, as well as our desire to always break new ground. This record represents a beautiful moment when a perfect storm of creative collaboration met with a validation of a life’s work between bandmates. The end result is one of my most proud moments in my musical journey. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to create this album alongside our outstanding front man. I’m excited for the world to hear it.”
Sometimes Y was recorded at L.A.’s famed Sunset Sound Studios in June 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the heart of a tumultuous summer marked by social and political upheaval. With Yelawolf as the invigorating front man, Jennings, who appears on synthesizer, piano, and acoustic guitar, enlisted his longtime bandmates – Jamie Douglass(drums), Ted Russell Kamp (bass, banjo, acoustic guitar), and John Schreffler (guitars, pedal steel) – to complete the project, which was mixed by GRAMMY®-winning engineer DavidSpreng (Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan) and mastered by GRAMMY®-nominated engineer Pete Lyman (Chris Stapleton, Weezer).
Sometimes Y is available now digitally and on CD HERE.