Nearly ten years separate Southern Way of Life and 2005's The Story of My Life, Deana Carter's last collection of original material. If the titles seem similar, that's intentional: both are pseudo-autobiographical albums containing songs that tap into her upbringing. Carter hasn't been entirely quiet in the decade between The Story of My Life and Southern Way of Life -- she released the covers album The Chain in 2007, then had considerable success as a songwriter when her "You and Tequlia" turned into a hit for Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter in 2011 -- but it's possible to hear the passage of time on the 2013 album, particularly in how the songwriting has deepened and how the performance has relaxed. Often, Carter's gentle touch has belied her sturdy song construction -- she makes it seem easy -- and that's also true here, where the melodies and her delivery are gentle and insinuating. That's what makes the production -- which surprisingly borrows quite heavily from early-'80s new wave crossover pop, so much so that it sometimes sounds like a deliberate throwback to the golden age of Carlene Carter (especially on the opening "You Can't Stay") -- such a treat. Certainly, she hasn't abandoned the decorous acoustics that have been a trademark since "Strawberry Wine," but she's expanded her palette, so this swings between quietly propulsive pop and songs so sweet they're nearly spacy ("I Don't Want To"). This is the work of an artist comfortable in her skin and it's a pleasure to hear her trying something new while staying true to her own voice.
|Label:||Red River Entertaint|
Performance CreditsDeana Carter Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Joel Shearer Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Jeff Carter Electric Guitar
Craig MacIntyre Drums
Shawn Jones Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Cary Beare Bass,Background Vocals
Paxton Malone Background Vocals
Matthew Schmitt Piano,Keyboards
Hayes Hicky Background Vocals
Technical CreditsDeana Carter Composer,Producer
Jackie Murphy Art Direction
Anne Preven Composer
Tyler Hilton Composer
Chris Steffen Engineer
Sean McConnell Composer
Kacey Musgraves Composer
Lindsey Ray Composer
Damon Elliott Composer
Kimberly Perry Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Southern Way of Life based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Perhaps her finest album, yet. It's an amazing record with all the joy and edges of a life journey. It straddles country, classic southern rock, and 70s and 80s pop and soul. Seriously, an amazing record!