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Album Spotlight: Jerrod Niemann, ‘High Noon’

High Noon
Arista Nashville

Fans will get to know Jerrod Niemann well by listening to his ‘High Noon’ album. While the project is covered in good time, groovy, party tracks, there are a few speckled in between that cast the 34-year-old as a romantic.

‘Space’ opens the album with a sexy guitar lick that drives a mid-tempo groove. Niemann’s heart isn’t always open on ‘High Noon,’ despite being in a happy relationship with fiance Morgan Petek. “Can’t coop me up / Like a Coupe de Ville / Sittin’ up on blocks / Spinnin’ my wheels,” he sings on this song about fighting for his independence.

‘I Can’t Give In Anymore’ is the darkest of the 13 songs, but that’s relative. Fans expect a sunny album from Niemann, and that’s what he delivers. This ballad is unique in that it introduces the perspective of a male who’s fed up with fighting solo for relationship. His exasperation stands out.

How much more can we both take / Is this where we bend or where we break,” he sings.

‘I Can’t Give …’ is one of a number of pure country cuts on Niemann’s third album. His previous effort was experimental, but this one is much more consistent. ‘We Know How to Rock’ is a smokin’ country-rocker full of banjo and steel. Later, ‘Refill’ tastes of pure country sugar:

I miss my baby’s peaches and her Tennessee honey / There’s only one woman that I can take,” he sings over a folky groove. Unlike previous albums on which the singer wrote or co-wrote nearly every track, Niemann only penned eight of the tracks on ‘High Noon’

And then there’s ‘Donkey.’ Niemann is never going to be an artist that scoops out vanilla. His fans appreciate ridiculous moments like this country club rocker. Why not mix in some electronica? It worked well on ‘Drink to That All Night.’ This new song just pushes the envelope further … much further.

Niemann has reeled in his impulses, but not sacrificed artistry on this album. The songs feel more personal, which means his vocals connect on an emotional level instead of serving as a conduit for his ideas.

Key Tracks: ‘Drink to That All Night,’ ‘I Can’t Give in Anymore,’ ‘Refill’

Is That a Sitar?: The album’s closing track is ‘She’s Fine,’ a collaboration with Colt Ford. You’ll hear a sitar if you listen closely. Niemann tells Taste of Country his fiance traveled to India to help children with leprosy and fell in love with the instrument. The song is about her, so he included the instrument “just to show her I love her.”

Did You Know?: Prior to filming his ‘High Noon’ mini-movie, Niemann had never handled a donkey. Although, he lived on a ranch in Kansas that had some miniature horses.

Next: See All Albums Set for Release in 2014

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