Sounds Like Life

by: Darryl Worley

Sounds Like Life, Darryl Worley's sixth album, is his first for Stroudavarious Records, the label founded by James Stroud, the man who signed Darryl to his first record contract. In that sense, it's a bit tempting to see the album as a bit of a back to basics move, or at least an opportunity to hit the reset button on a career that never quite seemed to deliver upon the commercial promise of his huge 2003 hit "Have You Forgotten," but Sounds Like Life is really just a continuation of the work Worley started on 2006's Here and Now, the album where he attempted to reinvent himself as a brawny country-rocker. Sounds Like Life has its fair share of party songs -- including the rather riotous "Don't Show Up (If You Can't Get Down)," a sports bar anthem featuring improbable cameos from Bill Anderson, John Anderson, and Smash Mouth -- but the record has a sentimental streak a mile wide, with Worley "slow dancin' with a memory as he sips a tequila on ice," realizing that you never know what's around the corner and that just sounds like life to him. Such slow, soft sounds fit Darryl better than the blustering boasts that sometimes weighed down Here and Now, and even if they're cluttered with clichés, they're executed well, emphasizing Worley's low-key charms, something that often got glossed over on his buffed-up, highly polished major-label albums. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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