Out of all the musical directions Danny Worsnop could have taken with his debut solo album, country and western wouldn’t have been an easy one to guess. Since moving to Nashville after retiring from vocal duties for metalcore band Asking Alexandria, Worsnop absorbed his surroundings and poured years of experiences into making this record.
Opening with ‘Prozac’, which begins with the line “prozac and coffee black, it’s breakfast time again“, the feel of the record is immediately obvious. Using his trademark gravelly vocals in a different way to what listeners are used to hearing, the songs show a different side to his songwriting personality as he exposes his struggles with addiction and mental health. Beginning on such a sombre and vulnerable note is a daring start to the album, preparing listeners to hear his soul laid bare. On that note ‘Mexico”s upbeat sound comes as a surprise, setting the scene of a party at a bar somewhere in Mexico with the sound of a beer being opened and the lyrics “watching senoritas, dancing on the beaches” providing strong imagery.
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The album does go back and forwards between topics, portraying the different sides to Worsnop‘s life and personality in stark contrast to each other. Whilst he was having a great time at a party on ‘Mexico’, on ‘I Feel Like Shit’ he’s clearly feeling the effects the day after. The album can be taken as a warning sign from the singer himself as he chronicles the draws and effects of alcohol – “I cross my heart, I’ll never drink again” he wails in regret.
As if this record couldn’t get anymore personal, on ‘Anyone But Me’ he’s pleading to someone to “love anyone but me“. The heartbreaking lyrics sound at home backed by a typical country ballad backing band as Worsnop laments “I love you too much to let you love me“, it’s a candid look at yet another side to his life that was kept slightly more hidden when fronting other projects.
‘The Long Road Home’ is a surprising direction for the singer but he pulls it off with style, sounding just at home crooning country songs as he’s ever done. Whilst things might get a little too much towards the end of the album, it’s easy to hear that this is the most brutally honest songs he’s ever written, and considering he didn’t ever write them to be released, we’re lucky that they’ve seen the light of day.
The Long Road Home is out now on Earache Records.