250 Word Album Review: Ashley Raines & The New West Revue – Blush EP

Ashley Raines - Blush

Ashley Raines - Blush - Most Messed Up gets 3.5 StarsAshley Raines returns with the Blush EP that is every bit as dark and brooding as his last release, One Trick Mule. Raines summons the honest and unfiltered voice inside us all by pulling no punches and being as straight-forward as you’ll hear. His songs are so brutally blunt you won’t be sure if they are his songs or the voice coming from deep inside yourself or stories from the church confessional.

On “Songs Cheap” he spills his thoughts on the value of his music, if Raines could ever have a theme song, this would be it. With the telling lyric “Maybe with a little luck, I’ll sell a million of them and make a thousand bucks” his frustration about the depreciated value of songs is all too clear. During “Tricks of the Trade” he throws pessimistic one-liners out right and left like “there’s a sucker born each minute” “You’re either for us or against us” and “You find that weakness and you prey” perfectly expressing how you feel at your lowest.

These quiet songs tug on the nervous feeling deep in your gut with the slow slide of a violin bow across fragile strings or the solemn blast of a trumpet. If you aren’t listening closely the songs will pass you by as they aren’t built with energy, but rather are carefully constructed of tension and doubt. A fresh sound for any ears willing to give it the time.

Key Tracks: “Songs Cheap” “Tricks of the Trade”

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