Album Review

Randall King - Into The Neon

While not trying to push the envelope in a genre-bending way like some current artists, Into The Neon makes a statement and differentiates itself by resurrecting country music’s neon-tinged golden days.

Randall King Into The Neon album artwork
February 2, 2024 6:00 pm GMT

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Randall King - Into The Neon

Label: Warner Music Nashville

Producer: Jared Conrad & Randall King

Release Date: January 26, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. One Night Dance

2. Somewhere Over Us

3. When My Baby’s in Boots

4. What Doesn’t Kill You

5. Hang of Hanging On

6. Burns Like Her

7. Good Feelin’

8. The One You’re Waiting On

9. Into The Neon

10. Tonk ‘Til I Die

11. But It Ain’t

12. Coulda Been Love

13. Damn You Look Good

14. Hard To Be Humble

15. Right Things Right

16. As Far As We Go

17. I Could Be That Rain

18. I Don’t Whiskey Anymore


They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and Randall King has stayed true to his West Texas roots on his robust, 18-song album, Into The Neon.

In a format where most current country artists opt to collaborate with just a handful of songwriters for a project, this record boasts 37 songwriters in addition to King, who co-wrote a third of them.

With so many collaborators involved in one project, you risk losing cohesiveness, but the songs’ similar themes of honky-tonk and heartbreak – paired with King’s neotraditional Texas twang – tie the album together. However, with so many outside cuts lacking personal insight into King and his story, new listeners may find it challenging to feel like they know him better through this album.

One of the standout tracks that perfectly aligns with King’s honky-tonk, Texas sound is 'What Doesn’t Kill You', a country drinking anthem begging for its own line dance, while his knack for clever and creative wordplay can be heard in the well-crafted ‘Somewhere Over Us’ and ‘I Could Be That Rain’. Elsewhere, the album’s title track paints a masterful picture straight out of an old Western movie as a restless cowboy moves on from an ending love, using vivid details such as the “bourbon blues, glowing greens and burning reds” of a neon sign.

With many of the songs upbeat and high-energy, Into The Neon’s fiddle licks and made for honky-tonk melodies come together to form a spirited album, but don’t let the fast-tempo songs fool you. These lyrics are filled with sad, lonely, “missing her” tales of lost love, heard in songs like 'But It Ain’t' and 'Damn You Look Good'.

With so many songs of similar subject matter – i.e. alcohol, heartbreak and relationship longing or regret – some, like ‘Good Feelin’’, ‘As Far As We Go’ and ‘The One You’re Waiting On’, can blend into the background on such a lengthy project. However, the sentimental theme of 'Right Things Right' distinguishes itself, stringing together a father’s words of wisdom to his son through different phases, including moving away from home, getting married and having a baby. It offers a take on life much in the same nostalgic vein as Kenny Chesney’s 'Don’t Blink', providing a notable and heartwarming moment on the album.

Both lyrically and sonically, Into The Neon is a straightforward, easy-listening album. For those who have been missing the sound of early 2000s country and are itching for some heartbreak honky-tonk vibes to sing along to, King is bringing it back with his own spin.

While not trying to push the envelope in a genre-bending way like some current artists, Into The Neon makes a statement and differentiates itself by resurrecting country music’s neon-tinged golden days.

7/10

Randall King's new project, Into The Neon, is out now via Warner Music Nashville.

For more on Randall King, see below:

Written by Lisa Valentine
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