"Lovin' You" by Jason Allen
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: June 25, 2012
Jason Allen – Lovin’ You (Smith Entertainment) 2012
Back in 2009 I wrote a review of an album by a Texas country singer I was previously unfamiliar with named Jason Allen. When I picked up his album at the Hastings in Norman I was struck by the album cover – it was called The Twilight Zone.
And like its title (the title track, was, I wrote, “hauntingly beautiful”), much of the album had a retro country feel, circa 1960 or so. The song “Jenny Lee,” which Allen performed with Deryl Dodd, was probably my favorite. And yet you didn’t hear many people talking about Jason Allen. The Twilight Zone was one of my favorite country albums that year. It just oozed with retro cool. Check out my review here.
Well, it’s been four years (that album was released in 2008) since his last recording and with Lovin’ You, well, things seem different. The influences seem more 80’s and early 90’s, rather than 50’s and 60’s. And that’s perfectly acceptable.
Life is pretty dang sweet for singer-songwriter-guitarist Jason Allen. Lovin’ You just brims with domestic satisfaction full of love of faith, family, fun and fishin’.
Check out “Bouncin’ Babies” for instance. This is an actual country song about having kids around the house and that it’s pretty cool. This isn’t Lonestar-styled sippy-cup schmaltz (think "Mr. Mom." - uggh!). This is twangy, happy-dad country-rock. It’s pretty simple – “Daddy’s happy as can be,” sings Allen – and that’s the way he likes it.
Allen’s song about a woman getting ready for a night on the town, sipping a little Coke and rum – “She’s Going Out Tonight” – has an uptempo appeal. The tune and the chorus are actually quite catchy and memorable.
I could say the same of the Tex-Mex-flavored “Just Let Me Prove It To You” or the Kevin Fowler chug-n-twang of “Mudflap Girl.” Both have a easygoing vibe that will appeal to country fans both in and outside of the Lone Star State.
And we’ve only talked about the first half of the album. Allen shows off his singing chops of the ballad “Just Looking In Your Eyes,” a song that I suspect will be used at a wedding or two (or 12 or 200 …) in the future.
“The Devil Has Red Hair” is one of those cheeky tracks that sounds decent in the studio but we suspect is delivered more convincingly in a live setting.
With “The Hard Way,” is more reminiscent of The Twilight Zone material. Of course that’s a good thing. And wait until the holidays to spin “I’ll Miss You This Christmas,” a slice of Yuletide cheer, Texas style … err … Jason Allen style.
Admittedly, I’m biased towards the songs on The Twilight Zone album. It’s just a hard one to top. But Lovin’ You shows Jason Allen to be a Texas country artist clearly comfortable about where he is at this stage of his career. We wish him well and hope he makes it up to Oklahoma for a show or two. I guarantee he’d build a following here if he did.
For more information go to www.jasonallencountry.com.
Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report