On Happiness, the Good Sons deliver a set of songs that lean less on the Hank Williams or Merle Haggard stylings of past efforts and more on the genre roving likes of Nick Cave and Gram Parsons. With the accompaniment of piano and cello often standing in for Phil Abrams' country rock guitar that dominated previous albums, Michael Weston King's Roy Orbison-flavored vocals stretch majestically across this set of broody lamentations. Opening with a heart wrenching version of "Can't Cry Hard Enough," a David Williams/Marvin Etzioni masterpiece that Victoria Williams brought to public attention in the early '90s, the album touches on themes of infidelity, familial estrangement, sectarian division, and general regret with the clarity of hindsight. Three of the tracks retain the Byrdsian, á la Sweethearts of the Rodeo, flavor of past efforts, thanks to the pedal steel of Alan Cook.
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AllMusic Review by Travis Drageset