Nashville duo American Young is comprised of singer, songwriter and producer Jon Stone and singer, songwriter, Kristy Osmunson (a founding member of Bomshell, where she sang and played fiddle). Before recording together, the pair wrote hit songs for everyone from Kenny Chesney to Rascal Flatts to Blake Shelton and Lee Brice (the latter produced their first single "Love Is War"). This six track EP is contemporary country that attempts to cross over to mainstream pop. The songs are well crafted and recorded but contrary to the band's bio which states, "... no one NO ONE is making music like this today," it delivers exactly the kind of slick production and some song forms that saturate genre radio station playlists. Opening track "I Wasn't Gonna Drink Tonight," with its looped drums, soaring, highly compressed electric guitars, fiddle and cascading vocal harmonies contains lyrics whose subjects are almost de rigeur for contemporary country music sung by a male lead: "I wasn't gonna drink tonight...I wasn't gonna fight/ busting up on my knuckles on my truck…" "Ain't Lookin' For Love," is also generic, especially with the 38 Special-esque guitar breaks, syncopated dance hand claps (Hunter Hayes), and "whoa-oo-whoa" (a la the Lumineers) chant that introduces the chorus. "God Sends A Train," melds shiny yet spare, classic sounding pedal steel, acoustic guitars and natural sounding drums. Its subject matter is gritty in sharp contrast with Osmunson's dreamy, nocturnal lead vocals. The single wisely blendsmodern and neo tradtionalist elements. "Soldier's Wife," with its swelling, gradiose crescendo of strings and enormous tom toms has Osmunson risig above the mix and proving she can sing the hell out of a song. The final track is a cover of Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls." Its been thoroughly re-arranged and re-visioned. Covering an iconic song like this is a gutsy move, even if theyt don't do it justice. Interestingly, the only original songwriting credit here is "God Sends A Train," penned by Osmunson and Bob Regan. Given American Young's proven track record of composing hits for other artists, this would be a bit of a head scratcher were it not for the fact that they are signed to Curb Records.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek