Thorne Hill may not be well known to many. But his debut album speaks a thousand words. It speaks words of truth and relatability to everyday life. ‘No More Holding Back’ is an album that creates a connection in both its storytelling and compilation.
The Tracklist Includes;
- ‘Open Road’
- ‘Catch My Breath’
- ‘Keep Walking Away’
- ‘Stay With Me Tonight’
- ‘Put Your Hand in Mine’
- ‘New Name and a Dress’
- ‘Nothing for Something’
- ‘Rhythm & Booze’
- ‘Fly Before I Drown’
- ‘Fired Up’
‘Open Road’ is the first track to greet your ears. As soon as the first few lyrics are sung you know that this is Country through and through. It tells a story of a journey one of which is full of mystery. The scene is created almost instantly. The instrumentals that kickstart ‘Open Road’ have been chosen and planned out well. Just like setting off on a journey it takes time to get fully into full motion. The accompanying drum beat in the first few seconds paired with Thorne Hills vocal helps to reiterate the message that the song that is trying to put out. A message of moving forward and looking on to the ‘Open Road’ ahead. The track in its nature reminds me of ‘Life Is A Highway’ by Rascal Flatts, but it differs in its overall composition as Thorne’s take on the concept is unique. Overall ‘Open Road’ is a strong track for a debut album. It gets its message across, and it doesn’t stray for a single second making it a pleasure to listen to.
‘Catch My Breath’ starts off with a more upbeat feel to it than its previous counterpart. Both songs in their nature are different as the second track on the album speaks of a moment in which a man or woman has come across someone who has taken their breath away in the attraction sense. It’s relatability to the end listener doesn’t even need to be questioned, as ‘Catch My Breath’ speaks for itself. The upbeatness is consistent from the start to its final note. This has led to a piece that isn’t lacking on any front.
‘Keep Walking Away’ is peculiar, but in a good way. You’d think by the title that you’re in for a duration that’ll leave you in a state of sorrow as walking away from someone isn’t often considered to leave a person in a position of happiness. This approach on the experience leaves you with hope and confidence in knowing that you’ll be able to get through it and that your life will soon be back to the way it was. This take I haven’t heard many times before. It’s different and leaves you in a state where you feel like you’ve heard something new which is something you can’t say every day. It’s a good a song. I can’t pick at it any other way. It’s well placed and deserved to make it onto ‘No More Holding Back.’
‘Stay With Me Tonight’ takes you back. It takes you away from the feeling that the first three tracks have managed to create. The track is full of emotion. This is made apparent as soon as the first key on the piano is struck. You can’t help but get drawn in as it touches deeply at your inner emotions. The song may not be complex as its just Thorne and his Piano, but that’s the beauty of it. What’s on display here is simple but a simple in which has been done excellently as adding any more or taking away from its core foundation would just subtract from what has been produced. The track touches at your inner emotions, and it does in the most appropriate of ways.
‘Put Your Hand in Mine’ follows in the footsteps of the first four tracks in ‘No More Holding Back’ as it enables you to connect to life positively. What I feel that is done cleverly here whether intentionally or not is in its track positioning. It brings you back from a song prior that connects with your deepest of emotions. What follows is a track relating to the same emotion but in a more positive manner. You would think this would create an imbalance, but it doesn’t even come close to. ‘Put Your Hand In Mine’ is a well written and a well-crafted end product. It again screams out relatability the kind that the genre of Country is well known for.
‘New Name and a Dress’ turns up the speed of things. When the first note kicks off you know you’re in for fun and an upbeat tune. This is created by the sudden speed of the instrumentals that all seem to come in at once. Pair that with the lyrics then you have a track that you can’t help but smile towards. The chosen style reminds me of the classical Country tracks of old with the twang at various points throughout. I can only imagine that this track would be perfect to line dance to. The track also shows off Thorne’s vocal capabilities as the change of style and pace makes for a fine addition and broadens the diversity factor of the entire album.
‘Nothing for Something’ continues the trend that has been set by ‘New Name and a Dress.’ Its style once again has been changed as it stands out from the pack. The vocal backings add to the atmosphere that has been created throughout the entirety of the track thus far. It adds spice to the album in the sense that it changes things the feel. It takes you back and reminds you of the tracks from years gone by and brings them into 2016. Instead of the track following the crowd and trying to appeal to the masses by going down a set route, it makes what feels like the past current once more. The style chosen for ‘Nothing for Something’ doesn’t come around every so often, but if this is an indication of what it could be then this rendition has done it right.
‘Rhythm & Booze’ continues to keep me smiling. It’s hard to think that this track is on a debut album. You’d think with a track that ticks multiple boxes yet again it would be more likely to be on a second album not a first. What boxes? The quality of the track and its production is of good quality. The atmosphere of the track creates cohesion as it’s an enjoyable listen that doesn’t go over the top to create disruption. ‘Rhythm & Booze’ lives up to the expectations of what you’d hope the rest of album would be following on from the standard of the previous songs.
‘Fly Before I Drown’ brings you back down to Earth. The creation of joy has been calmed, and a connection between you and the artist has been rekindled. It connects you back to life and reality no matter how much you wish it wouldn’t. It brings you up though in its lyrical aspect as it talks about finding the light and getting yourself back onto the path you were on with your head held high. With the down periods of life, a track that you can relate to and connect with is what Country is well known for. Once more ‘Fly Before I Drown’ lives to that sentiment.
‘Fired Up’ is the final track on ‘No More Holding Back.’ It’s a shame that it has to end here as I’m all ‘Fired Up’ to hear more. On such a strong album the bar can’t be raised any higher. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said. The finale ends on a high in a literal sense as it talks of the morning being still hours away and that you should enjoy the night for what it is. I’ve used the word upbeatness many times throughout but that’s what this is. Again it’s enjoyable, well written and ultimately well performed. The instruments continue to add to the cohesion, and I can’t fault this piece at all.
‘No More Holding Back’ is raising the bar for what a debut release should be. For an artist to come out with a debut album that’s full to the brim with content and equally varied is something that I wasn’t expecting. There is a variety here. You have your upbeat tracks, and you have songs that tell stories and are truly relatable. I can’t wait to add this to my collection upon its final release. I couldn’t find anything negative from my experience in listening to ‘No More Holding Back.’ If this continues, I’m going to have to go into the deepest of critique modes. ‘No More Holding Back’ has variety and with it being able to give you a little blast from the past was exciting. With the forever altering style of the genre, it’s nice to see artists embrace their uniqueness without following the crowds.
- You Can Pre-Order The Album Here. (iTunes)
- You Can Find Thorne Hill On Facebook & Twitter
- Thorne Hills Official Website
- Please Note: The review is strictly my own opinion, and therefore, I’m not liable for any purchases made. Before you ever buy any album or single it’s best to sample to know what you’re purchasing.