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Album Review: David Nail's 'The Sound of a Million Dreams'

Album Review: David Nail's 'The Sound of a Million Dreams'

At the outset, it’s easy to write off newcomer David Nail as little more than a Keith Urban wannabe. In fact, he’s recorded “Desiree,” an early song of unrequited love that Urban cut before launching his solo career when he was still part of The Ranch. But after the first few tracks on Nail’s second album, things start to get interesting.

Nail, who is opening shows on Taylor Swift’s current tour, sinks his soulful vocal cords into a string of songs that chip away at loss, regret, missteps and other human failings that are grist for the richest life lessons. His single “Let It Rain” is a sharp portrait of the devastation a single mistake can wreak on a relationship, while “Half Mile Hill” takes on the toll of divorce from the perspective of parent and child. “I Thought You Knew” is a strong confession of male obliviousness that Nail co-wrote with Monty Powell and Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Heywood, one of three songs on the album Nail had a hand in writing.

Like a lot of young country singers today, at times he seems more influenced by classic rockers such as Elton John, Bob Seger and Fleetwood Mac than country standard bearers like George Jones, Merle Haggard or Bob Wills. But Nail is plowing more fertile territory than so many of his peers who seem content to invoke stereotypical images and situations and then be on their happy-go-lucky way. Nail seems eager to take on real life.

--Randy Lewis

David Nail

"The Sound of a Million Dreams"

(MCA Nashville)

Three stars (Out of four)

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