Country music drama Nashville came to an end during the summer and it was a bittersweet farewell for all the Nashies across the globe. The show was given a new lifeline when it moved from ABC to CMT following its fourth season but that was short-lived when the show was cancelled ahead of its sixth season, despite being a huge ratings hit for its new home. Season five did a lot to retool the show, including killing off Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton), and it hit creative highs. Sadly the same can’t be said for the messy sixth and final season, which side-lined a lot of the core characters in favour of new ones.
While the writing may have taken a notable dip in quality, the music thankfully didn’t and the final soundtrack arrived as the last episodes aired. Glancing over the track listing shows a prominence of new/non-regular cast members and an unforgivable lack of Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), who only has one solo track despite being the show’s main star. Someone else barely represented is Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), who also only has one song largely due to her character being give a bonkers non-music storyline.
Of the core characters Daphne Conrad (Maisy Stella) finally gets a chance to shine with the excellent Without Warning. Stella’s voice has really blossomed over the show’s six seasons and it feels like she really found her confidence in the last two seasons. She sounds a lot older than she is and it feels like she’ll embrace the Country/folk sound she’s lived in over the years when she releases her own music, unlike sister Lennon who has gone down the pop route.
Towards the end of the soundtrack Maisy teams up with Lennon for Love Can Hold It All and it reminds you why you feel in love with the siblings back in season one. Lennon’s character Maddie gets the electro-tinged Little Fire, a hybrid of Country and pop. Like her sister Maisy, she has the kind of voice that leaves you breathless and now post-Nashville she’s aiming for huge success with music in a more commercial vein.
Sam Palladio’s Gunnar Scott rocks out on Going Electric, a song that the actor actually had a hand in writing, Will Lexington (Chris Carmack) delivers the heartfelt My Turn, and Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) gives an understated performance on The Giver.
The newer cast members are featured fairly heavily. Rainee Blake, who played Alannah during season 6, shines on the gorgeous Sorry Now while Jake Etheridge who played Scarlett’s (Clare Bowen) friend Sean brings tears to your eyes with the beautiful Bring Me An Angel. One of the most traditional Country moments on the album comes from Ilse DeLange, who played Daphne’s mentor, on the fragile love song Love Goes On. Rhiannon Giddens reprised her character Hallie during the final season and she pops up on the folksy Let Love In.
The soundtrack comes to a close the only way it can, with a full-cast rendition of A Life That’s Good. That song has become one of the signature tracks from the whole series and formed the encore for the many Nashville cast tours. Connie Britton even returned to add her vocals to it and it’s a special way to say goodbye.
Nashville goes out strong with The Music of Nashville Original Soundtrack Season 6 Volume 2. While it may be a little new character heavy, there’s no faulting the music. I’d have liked to see more focus on the core characters that we’ve lived with for 6 seasons but that’s perhaps just my preference. These songs, along with all the ones that have come before, will live on for years to come and keep us Nashies happy while we wait for the inevitable reboot in the future.
Track list: 1. When You Came Along (Jake Etheridge & Clare Bowen) 2. The Giver (Jonathan Jackson) 3. Let Love In (Rhiannon Giddens) 4. Sorry Now (Rainee Blake) 5. Go (Rainee Blake, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson & Sam Palladio) 6. Without Warning (Maisy Stella) 7. Love Goes On (Ilse DeLange) 8. I’ll Waltz You Home (Ronny Cox) 9. Going Electric (Sam Palladio) 10. Bring Me An Angel (Jake Etheridge) 11. Little Fire (Lennon Stella) 12. Itty Bitty Ditty (Charles Esten) 13. My Turn (Chris Carmack) 14. Love Can Hold It All (Lennon & Maisy Stella) 15. Free (Hayden Panettiere) 16. A Life That’s Good (Nashville Cast) Record label: Big Machine Release date: 27th July 2018 Buy The Music Of Nashville Original Soundtrack Season 6 Volume 2