REVIEW: Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors – ‘Medicine’

drew-holcomb-press-eric-ryan-anderson-2015-billboard-650

Artist: Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors
Album: Medicine
Genre: Folk/Americana

With winter maintaining its stranglehold on the majority of North America it can be hard to picture sunnier days, let alone recall the joy that comes with better weather. Thankfully, this year music fans can find some semblance of comfort during the coldest months thanks to the new album from Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, which delivers pure audio joy through your speakers one song at a time.

Medicine is the latest album from Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, who have carved a nice niche for themselves in the worlds of folk and rock over the last several years. Over the course of twelve songs, Holcomb and his band weave an intricate tapestry of tales covering everything from love to unity, all while maintaining an infectious sense of fun that never lets up. It’s not the first perfect release of the year by any means, but it comes far closer than most, and it boasts more than enough radio-ready singles to help the band further infiltrate pop culture at large.

It all begins with “American Beauty,” which also just so happens to be one of the first songs made available to fans from the record. It’s a soft and heartfelt love song that plays well with previous Holcomb hits like “The Wine We Drink” without feeling too familiar for its own good. Some might think building on familiar territory is weak place to start an album, but I have to disagree. Holcomb eases us into his return with this song not to simplify his reintroduction into our lives, but rather to set the tone for everything that will follow. Medicine is a deeply enjoyable record that leverages seemingly everyday situations to forge connections with listeners over a bed of music that is catchy without being too overbearing. That much is clear from the start, and it’s an idea that carries throughout the duration of the album rather nicely.

As you wade further into the record, Holcomb and The Neighbors maintain the Americana feel of the opening tracks while expanding their musical horizons just enough to you on your toes. “Here We Go,” for example, explores the kind of sonic territory that has made Jack Johnson a modern folk legend. Meanwhile, “Heartbreak” and “I’ve Got You” channel elements of country music through a pop-friendly filter to create a sound that feels both timeless and unforgettable. The subject matter remains simple, but with pitch perfect accompaniment their impact on the listener grows, leaving a bigger and bigger impression with each creative twist. Nothing feels out of place, but nothing ever remains the same. For any artist that would be something to applaud, yet it’s barely in the top five reasons Medicine should earn a bit of your time.

While all the sonic exploration is without question an interesting experience, Holcomb is never better than he is when accompanied by as little instrumentation as possible. Tracks like “You’ll Always Be My Girl,” as well as the heartstring-tugging closer “When It’s All Said and Done,” cut straight through your bones and inject themselves directly into your heart before you have a moment to think. Resistance is absolutely futile in these moments, and to be honest I cannot think of a single reason anyone would choose to fight. Holcomb takes the listener on journeys that rise and fall with grace, all while tapping into genuine human emotions. Some adventures are more replay worthy than others (“Sisters Brothers” is a bit forgettable), but overall the record is a cohesive and entertaining experience that transcends both time and circumstance.

To skip Medicine would be to prevent yourself from going on a life-changing adventure. It’s a unique listening experience that pulls no punches, but also leaves a lot of room for interpretation in the best possible way. Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors have further cemented their place in music with this album, and anyone who doesn’t give them the time of day at this point is nothing more than a fool. Don’t be a fool.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.