Missouri-raised Tyler Farr has posted a solid amount of success for a career not a decade old. Apparently, he's the only solo male country artist in the past decade to have their first two studio albums debut in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. That's pretty impressive, because sophomore slumps are real. But the industry has bounced Farr around like he's going through a cloud in prop plane seat. Whether it's label mergers or departures, he's now on Jason Aldean's imprint and can get back to work.
Farr didn't pen his monster hits "Redneck Crazy" and "A Guy Walks Into a Bar," but he has writing chops and a great sense of what can hit a simple man right in the feels. This four-song EP goes after that demo with all urgency. Take for example, "I Wish Dogs Could Live Forever." It's probably the best thing on the set, with slow-burn electric guitar work sounding as if lifted from some old Alabama song. You'd probably think the lyrics would be ready for some rainbow bridge meme. But they actually surprise with their details and directness.
With four songs, there's really no time for diversionary experiments or filler. "Soundtrack to a Small Town" has cinematic punch and takes the silver medal here. There's been lots of other tracks about how music brings back the memory. It bounces back and forth between the present (e.g., the traffic the narrator's stuck in) and the long-gone romance. Closing tune "Heaven On Dirt" is a little more standard power-pop country. All that's left to mention is the first selected single, "Only Truck in Town." It's full of bluster and bombast about how Farr's lady likes him best from the rest. While the production lays it on thick, the melody can't quite handle all the weight. It's something you might consider catchy at first, but won't crave for too many return visits. Nonetheless, the listener will find that this small sampler platter of music goes down easily. This former opera singer has a strong voice and a great ear - especially to what's in the hidden hearts of his country tribe.