Midland

Let It Roll

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    7
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Credit good timing or the muscle of their major label, but Midland's idiosyncratic retro vibe struck gold in 2017, giving them a major hit single with "Drinkin' Problem." Since their neon-lit country clicked the first time around, it makes sense the Midland would double down on their '80s vintage on their second album, 2019's Let It Roll. Once again working with producers Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, and Dann Huff, the trio from Dripping Springs, Texas continue to fuse the mellow vibes of middle-aged Merle with the casual confidence of George Strait. This time around, Midland dials back the twangy snap that gave 2017's On the Rocks the occasional kick. Every so often, Let It Roll kicks into second gear: "21st Century Honky Tonk American Band" rolls into a nasty country-rock grind, "Mr. Lonely" maintains their tie to Dwight Yoakam's Bakersfield shuffle and even though it lopes to a lazy honky tonk beat, "Every Song's a Drinkin' Song" provides a welcome dose of barroom humor. Still, Let It Roll hums along to an easy, laid-back tempo, favoring soft, hazy harmonies and layered guitars to lean traditionalist country. As a production, it's pretty difficult to resist; it's as supple and comforting as a favorite old chair. The sound is so alluring, it's easy to overlook how many songs simply glide by without ever quite catching hold. Maybe that's due to how Midland's touch is so light it's nearly invisible. Mark Wystrach has a pleasant, amiable voice that lends the trio's songs the slightest hint of gravel, but it -- along with the harmonies of Jess Carson and Cameron Duddy -- is a mere element in the warm, enveloping production of Let It Roll. It's a record that gets by on feel, not songs, which may mean that it doesn't provide many distinguishing hooks, but it does sound awfully good as it plays.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Midland 04:07 Amazon
2 Midland 03:31 Amazon
3 Midland 03:00 Amazon
4 Midland 03:35 Amazon
5 Midland 03:04 Amazon
6 Midland 03:08 Amazon
7 Midland 03:56 Amazon
8 Midland 04:38 Amazon
9 Midland 03:19 Amazon
10 Midland 03:40 Amazon
11 Midland 03:41 Amazon
12 Midland 02:55 Amazon
13 Midland 04:33 Amazon
14 Midland 04:32 Amazon
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