Thompson Square avoids dreaded sophomore slump with ‘Just Feels Good’

More than two years after the release of their self-titled debut, Thompson Square releases their sophomore effort. Anyone familiar with the duo made up of husband and wife Keifer and Shawna Thompson can understand why they chose to name the disc Just Feels Good. They obtained their first commercial success with their self-titled debut landing at 15 on Billboard’s 200 Albums chart and number 3 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. Thompson Square also produced their first number one single with “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not.” Not to mention, they’ve won six awards and have been nominated for many more which is a feat in itself.

Just Feels Good was released on March 26th on Stoney Creek Records, an imprint of indie label Broken Bow Records. Just like their first, the album was produced by labelmate Jason Aldean’s rhythm section and studio musicians consisting of Rich Redmond on drums, Tully Kennedy on bass, Kurt Allison on guitars and songwriter/recording artist David Fanning, known as New Voice Entertainment.

I’m not normally a fan of the country-pop sound like I am country-rock, but this album has rock interspersed with pop to give the tracks a modern sound on par with Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. Loops are dominate throughout the album’s 13 tracks, but don’t let that throw you for a loop (pun intended) if that’s not your taste. The music is well written and produced with hits throughout.

The first single “If I Didn’t Have You” cracked the top 10 on Billboard’s Country Songs and the opening “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About” would make for a great second single. Reminiscent of Kip Moore’s “Beer Money,” the tune is very catchy and upbeat with the pair taking turns on lead vocals. I could easily see this song at the top of the charts. “I Can’t Outrun You” is a very nice ballad that would do well at country radio. The song is about how the two can’t escape each other through their breakup and would be a change of pace for listeners.

I remember seeing Thompson Square at Legend’s Corner on historic Broadway in Downtown Nashville in 2007. Of course, this was before any commercial success given they didn’t sign their record contract until 2010. I was pretty impressed by their songwriting skills and vocal chops from the few originals they included in their set list full of the Top 40 country and classic rock hits that tourists flock to Nashville’s honky tonks to drink and dance to. When I heard their first single on the radio, I immediately knew who they were and was excited to hear their success given how many artists I’ve seen play Broadway in hopes to make it.

I’d say Thompson Square has avoided the cursed ‘sophomore slump’ with Just Feels Good. If the duo keeps releasing albums like this that are full of hits, they’re sure to last awhile. That’s hard to do this day and age with a revolving door full of unsigned acts ready to take your spot. I recommend buying both of their albums and getting familiar with this pair that are guaranteed to add more awards to their mantle.

Congrats to both Thompson Square and New Voice Entertainment for your continued success!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.

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