Following up his major label debut Spark, which arrived in 2016, is going to be no easy thing for Drake White to do. That album struck a chord with his UK fans and that love affair brought him over to this side of the pond quite a few times last year. White will be back in the UK for Country Music Week again in October and to whet our appetite for that visit, White recently released new EP Pieces.
Pieces features 5 new tracks that serve as a stop-gap until we get that full-length follow-up album we’re chomping at the bit for. For the EP White has had a hand in co-writing two of the tracks and the other three involved top songwriters including Old Dominion’s Brad Tursi, busbee, Brent Cobb and Lindsay Rimes. Girl in Pieces kicks things off and it’s a summery, uptempo feel-good song that finds White making a girl feel better about herself after she’s been dumped. The melody is one that immediately sticks in your brain and it’s a nice bridge from the material on Spark.
Grandpa’s Farm, co-written by Brent Cobb, infuses a rockier side to White’s abilities. Even though he has a very soulful voice, he could easily turn his hand to a full rock album should he choose to. He sings every word on the track as if he’s preaching a sermon, with conviction that few artists manage to muster. The romantic mid-tempo Happy Place follows and it’s a shift in gears for White. It doesn’t have the emotional punch of White’s signature track Makin’ Me Look Good Again but it will have you humming along and feeling a little bit warm and fuzzy.
Nothing Good Happens After Midnight, the strongest track on Pieces, fuses Country, soul and R&B for a moment that really showcases White’s voice. You feel everything single word he sings and when he hits his falsetto a moment of bliss sets in. The song makes you think of summer nights, falling in love and being appreciative of the best things in life.
Pieces comes to a close with The Best is Yet to Come, which feels more like a statement of intent than a throwaway sentiment. The optimism of the song is one that will resonate with White’s fans and the message is one that we all need to help us through these strange times we’re living in.
White has hit another ace with Pieces. My only complaint is that it’s only 5 songs long and that feels like a torturous tease. White isn’t rehashing what made Spark so fantastic and he’s pushing his sound into new areas. Variety is the order of the day and Pieces indicates that White is raring to get on with releasing more new music. Until then the EP will tide us over but don’t keep us waiting too long Drake!
Track list: 1. Girl in Pieces 2. Grandpa’s Farm 3. Happy Place 4. Nothing Good Happens After Midnight 5. The Best is Yet to Come Record label: Big Machine Records Release date: 4th May 2018