Michigan native, Kyle Jennings, is back at it again with the release of his brand new, full-length album, American Vinyl, an album gripping enough that you’ll want to blast it during a summertime bonfire with friends, yet gentle enough to play it in your living room while you slow dance with your main squeeze.
Jennings actively worked on this particular project since the spring of 2014, but some of the songs date back to as early as 2008. After years of writing these perfect songs, narrowing down the choices, and personally funding all of it, Jennings and a friend spent four solid months of diligent studio time before American Vinyl was born.
Musically, each track highlights instruments quintessential to the more traditional country sounds we know and love, such as steel guitar, harmonica, slide guitar, fiddle, and more. The glimmers of country rock and soul music also add an intriguing flair.
This is a very personal album, as all 13 tracks included on American Vinyl were written or co-written by Jennings. He explained why songwriting is key for him, “Being in involved in the creative process and writing my own material is very important to me. When an artist writes their own music you get an intimate first-hand peek into the mind and heart of the artist and they define themselves by their body of work.”
Though Jennings is thoroughly proud of every second of American Vinyl, he expressed that if he had to choose, he would say “Power of a Woman” is the most personal song for him on the record. “I wrote it after a break-up, during a low point when I realized how powerful the pure, honest love of a woman is and how much its simplicity and faithfulness can impact a man and transform a heart.” He goes on to say, “Originally I wrote this as a country song, and when we went into record it I wanted to do something special with it. We implemented a thick Ray Charles influence and altered the time signature and grooves, then brought in saxophone and some soul singers. What we ended up with is a beautiful piece of art that I love and am so proud of.
Rolling with the theme of love, “Crazy Tonite” is the song form of butterflies, giggles, passion and excitement in keeping a long-term relationship fresh. “Heart on Fire” explores the different intensities of love, from contained and gentle, to heated and burning bright, back down to sexy and slow. Jennings’ vocals are showcased in the reminiscent country sound during “They Don’t Make Love Like That No More,” while “Ride With Me” is a light-hearted song about letting go of all the stresses of life by taking a joyride with your sweetheart. In the mood for something sexy? “Next To You” puts a tasteful spin on what could be the baby-making song of the year.
You can’t write an authentic country album without storyteller songs, and American Vinyl is loaded with those. From the love stories listed above, to the classic vibe of tracks such as “Eddie’s Garage” and the lively spirit of “Day Drinkin’,” there is a story for every mood. The flashbacks that you’ll get while listening to “Class of ’96” will make you smile as you recall the parties, sporting events, and your very first experience with love. It has a feel to of it like an old school Tim McGraw song, both lyrically and musically.
The current single from this record, “Jesus, Jack Daniels & Me” is lyrically a culmination of qualities that make a woman attractive to a man, all from his perspective. With its subdued tones that lead to intense points, it is sure to continue its run as a fan favorite.
The album closes out with “Blue Collar Hero” which is a slow-paced storyteller song that essentially describes the hardworking blue collar man, who is more prevalent in our parents and grandparents’ time, as a seemingly “dying breed” in today’s world.
Overall, what stands out most about Kyle Jennings’ American Vinyl is that it doesn’t skimp on meaty content in exchange for cheap likes. It’s a feast that will satisfy your hunger pangs for unadulterated country music in a contemporary market. You can PRE-ORDER
Author: Tiera Bolt
Mix 1 part momma + 1 part writer + 1 part hairstylist. Add the love of laughter, adventure, and caffeine. Blend well with a passion for country music and hockey. Sprinkle with sass, and that’s me.