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Russell Dickerson – ‘Southern Symphony’ album review

Russell Dickerson scored a huge breakthrough hit with his debut single ‘Yours’, a song which had a very lengthy journey to the top of the charts. Since that song hit number one, the floodgates of success have very much opened for Dickerson with follow-up singles ‘Blue Tacoma’ and ‘Every Little Thing’ both reaching the chart summit too. Ahead of new album ‘Southern Symphony’, Dickerson added a fourth number one to his achievements with lead single ‘Love You Like I Used To’, which is his quickest climb to the top to date.

‘Southern Symphony’ arrives this week (Friday 4th December) and it sees him teaming up with Casey Brown and Parker Welling once again, and this time Dan Huff has produced on the record too. The end result is an album that’s more cohesive than ‘Yours’ was and it feels like there was more of a theme and structure applied this time around. That definitely benefits the record as the songs flow a little better from one to the next, and all 10 songs are sequenced perfectly.

The album opens with ‘Never Get Old’, a foot-stomping uptempo Country jam that gets you straight on your feet (which is where you’ll stay for most of the record). It’s an example of Dickerson at his best. He’s one of the nicest and most positive people you’ll meet in Country music and that radiates through his music. Dickerson wants you to have a good time when you’re listening to his music and on ‘Southern Symphony’ he definitely delivers.

From the hand-claps on ‘Home Sweet’ through to the 80s-tinged album closer ‘Waiting On You’, which features an unexpected but awesome saxophone solo, the rest of the album rolls by with a gust of energy and some seriously catchy melodies. ‘All Yours, All Night’ is the kind of soaring anthem that Dickerson excels at (and it shows off his vocals), ‘Forever for a Little While’ adds in a little more traditional Country production and throws in a reference to 90s sensations The Wallflowers, and ‘Honey’ finds Dickerson digging into his lower range on the verses bringing back Josh Turner vibes in the process.

Elsewhere on the record Florida Georgia Line appear on the contemporary pop/hip-hop fusion It’s About Time, Dickerson gets reflective on the album’s sole mid-tempo track ‘Southern Symphony’ talking about his upbringing, and ‘Come to Jesus’ is one of the best examples of Dickerson’s knack for a catchy radio hook so don’t be surprised if it’s a single in the future. For me though, the best is saved for last. I mentioned ‘Waiting For You’ earlier and it really is the finest track on this collection. It feels like a huge song that could easily have crossover appeal and if it’s a single, expect to see Dickerson making further strides in his career.

‘Southern Symphony’ is a stronger record than ‘Yours’ and it’s a cohesive body of work that shows Dickerson’s maturity as an artist. Thematically it’s more grown-up and lyrically it goes to deeper places. With the record already off to a strong start thanks to the success of ‘Love You Like I Used To’, it looks very likely that ‘Southern Symphony’ is going to propel Dickerson to the next level of success and quite honestly it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

Russell Dickerson - Southern Symphony
Credit: Triple Tigers

Track listing: 1. Never Get Old 2. Home Sweet 3. All Yours, All Night 4. Love You Like I Used To 5. Forever for a Little While 6. It’s About Time (feat. Florida Georgia Line) 7. Honey 8. Southern Symphony 9. Come to Jesus 10. Waiting For You Record label: Triple Tigers Release date: 4th December 2020 Buy ‘Southern Symphony’ now

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Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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