Parker McCollum - Never Enough
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Never Enough (MCA Nashville, 2023)

Parker McCollum

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Parker McCollum hasn't made a truly great album (yet), but "Never Enough" comes close. There are many standout tracks on this 15-cut release, and most of them are well worth revisiting again and again.

We had a hint that good things were on their way when McCollum released the single "Handle On You," which sounded like mainstream country music, yet still found plenty of room for overt steel guitar in its mix. Plus, it was an old school heartbroken drinking song, and not another one of those frat party drunken anthems. While the best songs tend to be the quieter ones, one rollicking number certainly stands out, "Hurricane." McCollum had a hand in writing it, as he did with the majority of the songs, with help from Randy Rogers and producer Jon Randall. The chorus just nails the description of an especially wild girl when it predicts, "Someday, she's gonna get her name on a hurricane." Crazy girls just don't get any more destructive than that.

McCollum is at his best, though, whenever he's singing self-deprecating breakup songs. He fully brings out the loser mentality in "Tails I Lose," which he performs over a quiet, acoustic guitar-driven backing. Also, this time over acoustic piano-centric instrumentation, the (still) young country artist dispenses age old wisdom with "Lessons From An Old Man," which was co-written with the ever-wise Lori McKenna, and it shows. "Have Your Heart Again," where McCollum goes into some lovely falsetto singing in places, is another fine piano ballad. It has the feel of a memorable Elton John ballad from the '70s.

If not the stellar album we're still waiting for from Parker McCollum, "Never Enough" is undoubtedly a giant step in the right direction. Don't miss out on enjoying this clear growth spurt.

CDs by Parker McCollum

Never Enough, 2023 Hollywood Gold, 2020

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