Obsessed is nowhere near an overstatement for this diverse album lighting up the sky. The country-pop team of Obsessed is lead by Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, who have been consistently producing quality music since their debut album, Where It All Began, in 2014. Their magical combination of pop formatted vocals with country-styled instruments blends two incredible worlds into one album. In the album’s ten songs, there are ten different themes, ten different openers, ten different energies, and two stellar voices. If music lovers are not thrilled with slow country songs, then they can admire themes of all night celebrations. If all night kickbacks are not their cup of tea, they can select songs with summer vibes or even classical stories of having crushes. Either way, this dynamic duo has an ample amount of foot-tapping enthusiasm that will leave audiences star-struck.
Speaking of celestial type elements, the opening song in Obsessed is none other than “All Nighter”. What starts with a methodical ring of the strings quickly rockets into a meteor shower of drums, guitars, and an overflowing level of power from Smyers and Mooney. The lyrics “This is an all nighter/A get lost with you running through every red lighter/I’m falling and feeling like a star right out of a midnight skyer” express a person making a deep connection with a lover overnight. “Road Trippin’”, the second song of the album, is by far my personal favorite as it is a “school’s out” type of song. The banjos contribute to the country element of the song, while pop is at the center of the vocal star. “From the Ground Up” is the third song of the album and it provides listeners with a gorgeous perspective of lovers taking the example of their elders to create a respectable relationship. This song also presents a Felix and Oscar type contrast between the enchanting steadiness of the guitar and drums in the opening seconds of the song, to the closing seconds.
Other notable songs in “Obsessed” include: “Already Ready”, “Round the Clock”, and “Obsessed”. “Already Ready” is the stress relieving type of song that you would make a special playlist for. Background instruments blend so many splendours together like the drizzle of a maraca type instrument and the innocent chiming of bells to cultivate a peaceful story. The lyrics in “Round the Clock” combined with the atmosphere of an ancient clock, roaring drums, and rhythmic clapping showcase the theme of falling in love. Words, “You make it easy/ You get my heart beating/ Out of my chest and the rest doesn’t matter” decisively depict the unshakeable feeling that one person shares for his/her significant other. The title song of the album is the last brilliant piece that definitely shouldn’t be eclipsed. What begins with nearly a jamaican type vibe, rotates into a spectacular saxophone extravaganza. A lot of times, people attribute the saxophone to classical styled music like Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls”. This, however, is far from the truth as Smyers and Mooney transformed it into a golden ring that jazzes its music into the heart of their pop-country band.
There are a few spots in Obsessed that certainly could use some tweaking. The pacing of more than half of the songs in this album- in terms of the drums and guitars- is extremely identical. Oftentimes, I find myself saying the name of the song before it comes on in my car and I get it wrong because I hear the exact same tempo of the band behind Smyers and Mooney. Another issue with the music is that none of the songs in this album exploit the duo’s lower registers. All of the songs are way high up in the tenor range and thus none of the music gets to escape the middle C territory on the music scale. Lastly, in general, “Sway” just gets annoying from the get go. The opening note sounds like a stereotypical teenage boy band, as a soft whine just drags on through the first bits and pieces and is then followed up by the same repetitive echoing of the drums and background instrumentals.
Truthfully, Obsessed and this duo have so much potential to hog the top spots on the iTunes charts. They explore different themes, their lyrics are meaningful, and their diverse accumulation of instruments is unlike any country-pop band before them. At the rate that they are traveling at, other artists may soon begin to revolve around them and covet their unique style. If Dan + Shay develop a more diverse selection of ranges in their vocals and band, audiences will get a more full and valuable experience by listening to a duo that has the potential to go beyond the Milky Way!
Country I Warner Music