Review: Anderson East – Encore

January 24th, 2018 by WLOY Staff

Artist: Anderson East 

Album: Encore 

Released: 01/12/2018 

RIYL: James Morrison, Passenger, John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne 

Rate: 10/10 

As the boyfriend of one of my favorite country artists, Miranda Lambert, Anderson East is a person of my special interest. There’s something about this soulful singer’s voice that makes it clear why Lambert swoons over him—it’s downright gorgeous with just a touch of a rocker’s raspy-ness. From the beginning, Encore has a funkier and more upbeat and in-your-face sound than East’s previous album, Delilah. Still, Encore is not without a few of Anderson East’s signature style consisting of slower love songs. A lot of different (and great) components of the album remind me of the 60s and 70s funk-rock and The Temptations. With co-writers such as pop artist Ed Sheeran, country artist Chris Stapleton, and Nashville songwriter Aaron Raitiere, this album is pure beauty. In this way, Anderson East takes southern soul and twists it making his music accessible to listeners of many different genres.  

The way that Anderson East blends sounds from an organ, a piano, trumpets, guitars, and other string instruments in his songs is truly an awesomely unique sound. If you’re in the mood for dynamic and powerfully moving tracks, “King For A Day,” “If You Keep Leaving Me,” “All On My Mind,” and “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces” are great go-to songs that get your heart throbbing. “King For A Day” is the album’s opener, and it is co-written by Anderson East, Chris Stapleton, and Morgane Stapleton (the wife of Chris Stapleton who has a lovely voice). The lyrics of the chorus, “I’d rather be a king for a day/than a fool forever,” are incredibly catchy and relatable. Another song that Chris Stapleton helped to write is “If You Keep Leaving Me.” In this track, you can hear the influences of Stapleton very strongly in the cadence of Anderson East’s voice when he draws out the line “If you keep leaving me,” and it is amazing. “All On My Mind” is the track that Ed Sheeran contributed his skills to, which, by virtue, makes the song full of love and pop influences. On the opposite side of the spectrum is “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces”—a Willie Nelson cover that was originally slow and quiet. Anderson East recorded this track with the energy and flare of East’s youthful passion, which gives the track an exciting fresh beat that you can tap your foot to for sure.   

The last two songs I will recommend are “Sorry You’re Sick,” and “Girlfriend,” both of which make you feel like you want to melodically stomp your feet through city streets because of their catchy, brass instrument riffs. “Sorry You’re Sick” is also a cover originally done by Ted Hawkins that Anderson East gives new, vivacious breadth. Ultimately, I believe that this is the purpose of Encore—to give an older sound new life and energy. Encore is a 10-out-of-10, soulful jam.  

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