To Be Loved
A preacher’s son and former Baptist seminary student, Thad Cockrell has perhaps returned to his roots on this gospel-themed EP.
At the same time, the Nashville-by-way-of-North-Carolina resident has largely stepped away from the trad-country sound of his previous albums, favoring a more sonically expansive approach. Delivered in Cockrell’s distinctive lonesome, sweet tenor, these songs don’t sound radically different from the man who once pledged to “put the hurt back in country.”
But songs such as “Pride (Won’t Get Us Where We’re Going)” and “Great Rejoicing” have a lush acoustic tone; the music shimmers alongside Cockrell’s ever-climbing vocals. “He Set Me Free”, an off-the-cuff but heartfelt track from Cockrell’s debut album Stack Of Dreams, is transformed to a more fully realized and interesting take with reverb, organ and glorious harmonizing. The slow-rolling “A Country Of My Own” might be the standout, showing Cockrell as a confident, ever-developing songwriter worth following wherever his muse might take him.