‘Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?’ tries something new, doesn’t pull it off

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Courtesy of Spotify

TRL’s Audrey Mccaffity reviews Tyler Childers’ new album. Although Childers tried something new, many of his songs fell flat.

Tyler Childers’ highly anticipated fifth studio album “Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?” released on Sept. 30. The album has eight songs each played three different ways, the “Hallelujah” version, “Jubilee” version and “Joyful Noise” version. 

The idea of having an album full of the same songs with different styles is new, but I don’t feel like Childers pulled it off. “Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?” is a mix of covers and originals, and it’s over an hour and a half long yet misses the variety it promises to bring.

To start off, I wanted to listen to the same song in all three styles so that I could understand the differences between each better. A cover of “Old Country Church” is the first song on the album, and the “Hallelujah” version is listed first. The song itself is pretty catchy and is worth listening to, but there isn’t anything that makes it super unique.

 I was hopeful that this was part of the plan to make the other versions of the song stand out, but I ended up disappointed as this was not the case. The “Jubilee” version of the song sounds too similar to the “Hallelujah” version. The slight changes make it seem like Childers simply wanted a longer album and couldn’t think of another song to add some time. However, the “Joyful Noise” version does bring a different style. It focuses more on remixed music and less on the lyrics, straying away from what Childers’ music is typically like. Even though this brings something different, it seems like the focus was more on quantity instead of quality.

The album is ultimately not comparable to past hits like “Feathered Indians” as the several styles that are within it don’t create the same vibe. 

After hearing the title track of the album, I was more impressed than before. Knowing about Childers’ past struggles with addiction, I can tell that this album was meant to turn over a new leaf, and it did just that. The folksy take on some of the songs along with the more electrical version of them provide a contrast similar to previous albums. 

One of the best songs on the album is “Way of the Triune God.” It shows the powerful experience that following through on being sober has been for Childers. It is one of the most vulnerable songs on the album, and it shows through its lyrics.

Overall, the album was built up too much leaving people more disappointed than they  would hope. However, at the end of the day it is full of comfort music that will allow Childers’ fans to add some extra music to their playlists. 

 

Rating: 6/10