The sophomore studio long-player from the bluegrass/alt-country quintet, How It All Goes Down dials back on the front porch folksiness of their debut in favor of a more streamlined, radio-friendly take on Olde Timey pop that invokes bands like the Avett Brothers and the Lone Bellow. Opening with a straight-up, dirt road-ready banger in "The Time It Takes," a nostalgic country-pop duet between Clayton Chaney and Andi Carder that muses "Ain't it funny where we were back then/Ain't it funny where we are right now," the 13-track set touches on everything from indie folk gospel ("If You Could Break That Chain") to breezy, Fleetwood Mac-inspired AOR pop ("Someone to Stay") with the kind of effortless amiability that can only come from a band that's spent a lot of time in the same van. Left-field offerings like the bluesy, Fiona Apple-esque "Shoulda Shown Him" and the knotty indie pop outlier "Only Lie" display a willingness to rifle through new wardrobes for inspiration, but in their heart of hearts, Show Ponies are a roots band, and their soulful harmonies and heartfelt lyrics help to keep things grounded.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger