After a much anticipated wait, Radio Company has officially released their first album, Vol. 1, today! We all went on a journey as Jensen Ackles, Steve Carlson, and the extremely talented musicians behind Radio Company shared snippets of each track, stories behind the scenes, and plenty of pictures with fans, no doubt hyping up the excitement for its release. Those who pre-ordered also got to download and listen to “Sounds of Someday,” the first single to be released from Vol. 1. Check out our track-by-track review of this fantastic album below!
‘Cannonball’ starts off with just a few notes before the music amps up, increasing the excitement for the track. It gives off that feeling of when you’re at a concert, right before the lights come on and the music blares. The song itself rocks and has soul. You will want to groove to this one! If that is not enough, Jensen and Steve’s sultry singing in the verses will surely be the ear candy you are looking for. Overall, this is an absolutely glorious first track on the album that sets the tone for what’s to come.
Let Me Be
Holy saxophone, this track is a jazzy yet soulful song that makes you want to sway along to the excellent beat. The killer saxophone solo steals the show mid-track before Ackles’ smooth vocals pull you back in to the story of the lyrics. They are perfectly written to match the hard upbeat music, and I especially love, “Gotta go, before the plan unravels, can’t turn back now, looks like I’m headed into battle.” The upbeat chorus also gives the feeling of urgency felt within the verses. The lyrics of the song marry perfectly with the guitar and brass instruments which all take on a softer note as the song comes to a close. Ackles’ voice rings clear and smooth for the final verse before the chorus kicks up one last time and ends with a final crescendo of vocals and instruments. Start to finish this one pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. ‘Let Me Be’ is easily one of my favorite tracks on the new album!
‘Bound’ is one of the only songs on the album where Steve’s vocals are at its focus with Jensen’s not being present. Although he would’ve made a nice touch, it’s beautiful all on its own. It has a nice electric guitar composition and the lyrics struck me immediately. I’ve always loved songs that hold contradictions within its poetry and that’s what this track does. In particular, “You caught an airplane and found a reason to live. It keeps you entertained, but you got nothin’ much left to give,” is so poignant. From my perspective, it’s about the turbulence of fame or success. How while it can take us beyond certain places if there isn’t a solid foundation of self-love or someone to catch us when we fall, then we are just bound to the snowglobe that it is.
– Rachel F.
Sounds of Someday
‘Sounds of Someday’ provides a beautiful change of pace from some of the more up-tempo tracks on the album. The lyrics are haunting as they seem to tell the tale of someone who is weary and struggling. The simple but effective accompaniment really allows the richness of Jensen’s voice to shine through as he takes lead vocals in this track. My favorite part of the track is the very last phrase where Jensen riffs on the very last note and draws this song to a breathtaking close.
Off My Mind
Mellow and full of soul, ‘Off My Mind’ gives you that feeling of sitting in a dark nightclub, where the light’s are down low, you’re nursing a glass of whisky and the music is speaking to what you’re feeling in that exact moment. “All you gotta do is nothing. Trade it all in for something new. Blame it on the way we were put together. While some remedy’s forsaken you.” Between Steve and Jensen’s powerful vocals, and the poetic lyrics, you won’t be able to get this track off your mind.
This is a powerful ballad in both lyrics and instruments that had me in tears. All through the song, the guitar and drums seem to be just over the sound of Jensen’s voice, I think that it is deliberate to add to the ‘Drowning’ theme and message of the song. Speaking of Jensen’s voice, can he ever hold a note without falter. I also like how the song starts somber before adding in the stronger instruments to set the tone and coming emotions. While Steve doesn’t appear on vocals, you can hear him on the electric guitar. I interpreted this song to be about the loss and tragedies that have happened due to the climbing violence in the country, “Because we can’t become, victim of a sum.” The last lyrics he belts out at the end, “Hold the day, Oh we pray, To make it through the night,” is as if it is a plea for hope.
When I’m Down
All right, let’s talk about the seventh song, ‘When I’m Down’. It has a classic rock slow opening, with each instrument being added one by one until they are all playing together in perfect harmony. The song features the powerful vocals of Jensen and the three beautiful backup singers we have seen in the Instagram posts. Those women’s added vocals were the perfect addition to the 3:13 minutes of chills. Even though Steve Carlson was not featured vocally in this song, you can still hear his influence in the lyrics and through the instruments. Listening to the lyrics, my interpretation of the song is that it is when he is missing Danneel and his family back home in Texas when he is away working in Vancouver. “When I’m feeling low, living far away, all I need is to be with the one I believe that will save me.” Those lyrics make me think about homesickness and missing all your family and friends, and “Won’t you carry me away,” is when he is talking with them, that feeling is momentarily forgotten. After a rock instrumental break, Jensen comes back with a louder raspier rock voice ending the song repeating “When I’m down.”
Livin’ In You
The eighth track of the album, ‘Livin’ In You’, has a steady drumbeat all throughout the song. Steve’s vocals in the song are very soft and while Jensen isn’t vocally featured in this song, you can clearly hear his influence when it comes to the instruments, especially the guitar. Towards the middle of the song, the instruments start building up, the tempo gradually gets faster and the vocals start getting a tad louder. But when “Found my way, livin’ in you,” come back around, being repeated a few times, it starts to slow down. All you hear after is the guitar, piano and drums, getting faster and being brought together, ultimately ending the song after 56 seconds of instrumental. This song mostly relies on its instruments and it’s perfect because it brings everything together.
All Our Own
‘All Our Own’ is a love ballad that holds the same soul as the other songs on the album, but slows things down quite a bit. Jensen’s vocals are soothing but still powerful with the mellow instrumentals accompanying him and the subtle backup vocals. The lyrics speak of a hopeful love where, no matter what, you’re protected and together. This is a slow dance track if I ever heard one, and makes me think of sharing a special moment with the person you love where the rest of the world doesn’t exist. My favorite line is, “I know I would rather be together alone…” because if that’s not the ultimate declaration of love, I don’t know what is.
The album ends on a slower note with the simplest set of lyrics. Much like ‘Sounds of Someday’ this song is haunting but in an incredibly beautiful way. The song is lead mostly by the music, with a smooth harmony acting as the accompaniment and with that combination the song comes across as one you might find in a YouTube playlist to aid in calming your anxiety. In my opinion, there was no better way to end the album than with this smooth, peaceful sounding song.
– Amanda S.
The album is now available on iTunes, Spotify, and can be purchased as a vinyl record through Radio Company.