A Texan songwriter at heart, Robbi Atkins emerged into the country scene with her dulcet vocals, lending her talents to her debut singles ‘Lead You Home’ and ‘Your Memory Is a Song’. With the help of Wild Horse Desert, Robbi Atkins effortlessly embellishes the country genre with unsurpassable heartfelt tenderness. Now, she is back to grace our chilly September with her debut album ‘A Good One’.
Influenced by the music of Faith Hill and Dolly Parton, Robbi Atkins is no stranger to producing full-bodied, resonant music with vulnerable undertones and an unabashed spirit. ‘A Good One’ not only adheres to this style of music but also renovates it with the moxie of modern production techniques.
Written by the emotive genius herself, Atkins has crafted this album with an overwhelming sense of passion. Atkins celebrates earnest lyricism, the kind that enriches her rousing instrumentation with a deeply candid vehemence.
Covering everything from breathing new life into old loves to rodeo anthems to sincere paternal letters, Robbi Atkins is exemplary of quality country music.
That being said, let’s take a deep dive into ‘A Good One’.
A Good One
The introductory track, sharing a name with the overall album, is a buttery-sweet journey across the best features of timeless, classic country music.
Immediately soothing the listener with a gentle guitar riff, you can’t help but smile and feel your worries melt away in the swash of mellow timbres. The track’s arrangement has an undeniable sense of familiarity and homeliness that exudes an abundance of the rich Texan history of the genre. In the first ten seconds, I knew I was hooked.
This was when Wild Horse Desert’s twangy, male vocals emerged from the tender instrumentals. Ornamented by that classic Southern zest, the male vocals glide balletically across the rills of mellifluous guitar. Seamlessly produced, this track is not just a country song but rather a story told by the wisest, gentlest storytellers of the genre.
The track’s vim soars to new heights when Atkins’s vocals join to brighten the melody further. Adorned with louder dynamics and an enthusiastic tempo, Atkins’s vocal delivery is elegant and full-bodied, proving to be the glistering crown jewel atop the track.
Atkins’s stirring voice enters a perfect dalliance with that of Wild Horse Desert’s male vocals. It sounds as if they were always meant to perform together. Together, they have the tenderness of a toasty home in the winter but with the raw fire of black-barrel whiskey.
The next song we shall explore has been specially picked due to the deep admiration you can’t help but feel for the lyricism. Of course, I’m referring to ‘Dear Boy’.
Atkins prides herself on being ‘a girl that’s really one of the guys’ and can easily craft songs from both female and male perspectives, producing well-rounded and relatable songs for all.
‘Be kind and do the right thing / Even when no one can see’.
That was the lyric that made me rush over to Spotify to add this gorgeous track to my playlist. Atkins’s lyricism makes me feel as if I am looking back through my life, garnering all of the lessons I have learned from my parents and feeling proud of who I have become. Her slow-burning lyrical arrangement allows for every ounce of wisdom and compassion to be felt, creating a charmingly sentimental ambience.
The traditional country notes of bright, tranquil guitar are flawlessly integrated with modern instrumentation. Modernity in the form of mirthfully prominent finger-clicks, the instrumental harmonies perfectly encapsulate the balance of old and new.
The youthful vivacity of the meandering melodies transports the listener to their adolescence, bolstered by a benign, nostalgic tonality. At the same time, they remind you of the insights you have attained in adulthood and how they could be passed on to the next generation. This is a beautifully emotive story.
Although Atkins’s vocals aren’t present in the track, you can feel her passion within every note, conveyed spectacularly by the pure timbres of Wild Horse Desert’s vocal delivery.
The last track we will delve into is the album’s final track: ‘Human Heart’.
This song returns to the country genre’s traditional, quintessentially Southern qualities. I love the decision to strip back to the heart of country music; this isn’t a song that needs a modern flourish. The willingness to share real, raw human stories and experiences is at the heart of classic country music. ‘Human Heart’ is the epitome of that core value.
Encompassing the sorrow of an unfinished story with a departed loved one, this track will bring you close to tears.
Created with an andantino tempo, glittering thrutches of pillow-soft guitar implement an unexpected tone of optimism. Although the male vocals (courtesy of Wild Horse Desert) soften the single with a profound poignancy, Atkins crafts an air of hope that you will see your loved ones again.
In this track, Atkin masterfully provides a kaleidoscopic venture of wistfulness, grief, anger, and acceptance that is beautifully paralleled in the chorus. Within the chorus, you can hear the quaint, silky dynamics of Atkins’s backing vocals, a delicate reminder that the loved ones you feel the loss of are never too far away.
Guiding us to a bittersweet diminuendo, the guitar gently slows to a rippling halt, and you are left with nothing but a smooth silence and a heart full of optimism and love.
I can’t recommend Atkins’s music enough. This 10-track album is immeasurably impressive – I can hardly believe this is her first album!
Inspired by her career as a counsellor and teacher, Atkins’s music is interwoven with a lifetime of candid, unfiltered emotion. I can’t wait to see how she utilises those experiences to create even more captivating, relatable tunes! It’s safe to say I’m eagerly awaiting a second album.
If you want to discover a mellow, authentic country experience, check out Robbi Atkins and Wild Horse Desert – you won’t regret it!