Nick Young | Truth Is

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Rock: Americana Pop: Power Pop Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Truth Is

by Nick Young

"A stripped-down Americana and lush pop'll hear the Earle, but the Costello is in there too."
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Possibilities
4:14 $0.99
2. Strength In Numbers
3:40 $0.99
3. Something In Your Eyes
3:22 $0.99
4. Nicotine & Tar
3:57 $0.99
5. Chances
3:15 $0.99
6. Long Decline
2:44 $0.99
7. Wait for Me
4:11 $0.99
8. Make It Alright
3:56 $0.99
9. Loretta
3:13 $0.99
10. If You Left Me Alone
3:07 $0.99
11. Gone
3:56 $0.99
12. Returned To Sender
3:58 $0.99
13. What I Ain't
4:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Hailing from Rochester, N.Y., singer/songwriter Nick Young’s songs combine power pop hooks with country-tinged roots rock to form an energetic sound that’s familiar, yet all its own. After several years as the frontman and principal songwriter of the band Burning Daylight, Young has spent much of the last year recording his solo debut record both locally and in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Jim Reilley (The New Dylans). With the help of Reilley and with legendary pedal steel player Al Perkins (Gram Parsons) and drummer Ken Coomer (Wilco) augmenting Young’s Americana/Power Pop sound, the album “Truth Is” was released on November 30, 2010.



to write a review

Mike Nelson

Be Confident, Be True
Rochester’s Nick Young is an artist bursting with newfound confidence. Even where putting an acclaimed band on hiatus, recording a debut solo album, and embarking on a maiden multi-state solo tour might understandably give any young artist pause, Young is simply going for it.

Musically, Young’s solo debut Truth Is exudes this confidence throughout. From the muscular opening of “Possibilities” with its undeniable lead guitar melodicism (courtesy of Rochester’s John Itkin), to stretching into wider harmonic vocabulary (see “Strength in Numbers” and “Long Decline”) and deeper depth of vocal emotion (see “Chances” and “Gone”), the album makes musical statement after musical statement. Other musical high points include “Something in Your Eyes” with its roots rock meets Cheap Trick pop sensibility; “Wait for Me” with it stately introduction and gutsy, assertive drum and bass work (courtesy of Rochester’s Jessie Sprinkle and Buffalo’s Tim Mroz, respectively); “Loretta” with its Elvis Costello inspired roots pop beat and bumper crop of hooks; “If You Left Me Alone” with rhythmic motifs that exude a bravado somewhere between The Who and The Byrds. Even being able to recruit Nashville heavyweights like Jim Reilley (producer), Ken Coomer (drums), and Al Perkins (pedal steel) the first time out takes a sure sense of self.

But what is so interesting (and perhaps ironic) about the album is the contrast found in the lyrics, which are, true to Nick Young lyric-writing form, superb. The themes of conflict and uncertainty provide a level of contrasting frailty. Diving into the album, the listener hears tales about the inability to sustain the hurt of truth (“Strength in Numbers”); avoidance, and being torn between giving in and the desire to come out on top (“Nicotine & Tar”); the challenge of confronting that which is wrong in a relationship, but then being willing to forget the score (“Chances”); selling lies (“Loretta”); avoidance of doubt (“If You Left Me Alone”); words never spoken (“Returned to Sender”).

This contrast is then masterfully reversed for the final song. As “What I Ain’t” slowly, beautifully builds, it simply just… ends. It takes maturity and restraint as a composer to pull this off, when the song could understandably crescendo into guitar solos and drum fills. So, as the song trails away, and as its memorable lyric resonates (“You can call me a sinner, and you can call me a saint. Because the only thing I’m sure of is what I ain’t.”), the beauty of the song, and perhaps that of the entire album, becomes clear: Young’s confidence is from taking stock of past dealings, from coming to terms with who he is as a person and an artist, and more importantly, who he is not. Moving on. No apologies. No regrets. Perhaps everything that precedes “What I Ain’t” is a sort of “taking inventory” of how not to be, with the closing number being a declaration of how things are going to be.

Maturity and confidence growing within. That, to me, is what fuels Truth Is, what makes it a great album, and what makes Nick Young’s career so well worth watching. Those who will not conform to someone else’s template are sure to succeed in their own endeavors. Because truth is, being truthful to yourself is all that matters.