Austin Miller proves he is around to stay as a songwriter with “Engine.” His release “More Than One Way” was one of the best releases of 2013 with its great songwriting and versatile musicianship and Miller takes all the strongpoints of that album and adds them here making for another beautiful album of songs.
The combination of “Curse The Road” and “Bags at the Door” to start the album are a perfect microcosm of the record. Miller uses his lyrical wizardry and smooth voice to carry songs, he gives them a natural flow that not all songwriters can pull off. On “City Dweller” he explores the familiar topic of love but puts a nice spin on it with the chorus “The city’s not for me/but I have reason to believe you might be.” On “Ghosts of Carolina” Miller sings of battles in trying to moving on while his signature smooth songwriting style carries the song. Carefully placed horns adorn the album and in some cases hit their spot perfectly as the violin does on “Curse The Road.” An uplifting tempo is also something Miller does well, making sad lyrics spin and sound positive, like on “Sittin’ On Top of the World” where he preaches about a breakup isn’t going to get him down.
“Engine” is one of the strongest albums written so far this year, the songs are smooth and hook laden and the lyrics are dead on. There is no reason not to keep this album on repeat for a while, it only gets better with repeated listens.
Key Tracks: “Curse The Road” “Bags at the Door” “Ghosts of Carolina”
You can buy this album very cheap on Austin Miller’s bandcamp page.