By guest reviewer:  Dylan Furr

Dan   ShayToday I’ll be reviewing Dan + Shay’s debut album "Where It All Began". I’m not going to lie, when I first saw the cover of this album, I didn’t have high hopes. Then I remembered that saying "don’t judge a book by its cover" and delved into the album hoping for the best expecting the worst. Now enter Dan + Shay who started their career by writing for Rascal Flatts (didn’t help low expectations) and got their foot in the door with their single " 19 You + Me," which got on the country and pop charts.

Dan and ShayAnyways, how was it? Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! "Where It All Began" is actually a pretty decent album. Now, when I say that I don’t mean they’re a good country group because in the majority of elements, they’re barely a country band, they’re follow more in line with pop country (like Taylor Swift). Judging on that standard, they’re actually pretty good. It wasn’t amazing or anything I found interesting per se but I will admit, I did enjoy this album much more than I thought I would.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty. Most of my problems in this album come from the instrumentation or production. Even for a pop group, the melodies were pretty formulaic. I mean expect for a few cases, this album seemed to run together for me. While I didn’t the smoother pop production, that captured the pluckiness of the guitars and accented a couple of the tracks, the electronic elements and the auto tune ruined it for me because it didn’t follow well with the more organic instrumentation.

Dan and Shay 2I did enjoy a lot on this album. I enjoyed the references to Tom Petty, Springsteen, and George Strait. Although, I wished that they would’ve referenced them instrumental as well. However, these references bring flavor and feel cohesive unlike Luke Bryan referencing Conway Twitty and T Pain. Even though the lyrics aren’t very complex and endearing, they’re pretty corny. I’ve noticed something though, they’re in their element when they’re singing about unconventional love stories and heart break. Even though there’s some stuff on this album I didn’t like, they have one redeeming factor in they’re vocal delivery: their sincerity. I mean to me they’re more sincere then some boy bands that are out right now (you know who I’m talking about).

Dan and Shay 1My two favorite songs on this album were "I Heard Goodbye" which is about a relationship that just fizzles out and it does pull off all of the emotions of a situation like that effectively. Though, the country part of me says this song is the lighter version of "Goodbye in Her Eyes" by the Zac Brown Band. My other favorite song from this album would have to be "First Time Feeling" which kind of reminded me of "Summer Nights" from Grease but with a bunch more sex and Springsteen references. In the end, I did enjoy this album. I’m gonna give this album a seven out of ten and a recommendation. Look, if your a teenage girl or happen to like cheeses boy bands, give this album a listen. It surprised me!

In addition to their web site, you can follow Dan + Shay on Twitter @DanAndShay. If you aren’t already following Country’s Chatter on Twitter, we invite you to do that, too. You will find us @countryschatter.

We would like to thank Dylan Furr for his review of “Where It All Began,” from Dan + Shay. Remember, if any of you have concert photos, concert reviews, or even album reviews you would like to share with us, we invite you to submit those, via e-mail, for consideration. Now, here is Dylan’s review.

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By guest reviewer:  Dylan Furr Today I'll be reviewing Dan + Shay's debut album "Where It All Began". I'm not going to lie, when I first saw the cover of this album, I didn't have high hopes. Then I remembered that saying "don't judge a book by its...