Danny Worsnop

The Long Road Home

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Country music may not seem like the obvious move for Danny Worsnop, the lead singer of the English metalcore band Asking Alexandria, but who's to say what's in the heart of a man? Certainly, Worsnop cared enough about American roots music to extricate himself from Asking Alexandria and record The Long Road Home, a 2017 solo debut that finds the singer plumbing the depths of his soul with a steel guitar. By the time The Long Road Home appeared in February of 2017, Worsnop had returned to Asking Alexandria, so it's hard to tell whether this is a quick detour or a possible second career. Either way, The Long Road Home is an odd record, divided between earnest balladeering and uptempo genre pieces that play like near-parodies; the two-step "I Feel Like Shit" seems like a send-up of country, as does "Don't Overdrink It," with both songs emphasizing the trappings of country music instead of the core construction of the tunes. Elsewhere, Worsnop slows things down, carving out a space between modern rock and contemporary country, relying on sincere crooning -- an act that feels like a pose due to the earnestness of the album -- and po-faced songs. Much of the album is dedicated to sincere explorations of backwoods sensibilities, and that's the problem: everything on The Long Road Home is performed at a distance, authentic music interpreted through a filter. At times, he shakes off conventions and delivers songs that feel heartfelt -- ironically, these are the songs that conform to the constructions of mainstream country -- but the whole thing feels like a pose: this is music made by somebody who wants to be country, not somebody who is.

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