12 January 2018 (released)
12 January 2018
Anderson East is probably best known by many as Miranda Lambert's other half. Having being revealed as the man she had fallen for following her break-up with Blake Shelton, many at the time were unaware of his musical pedigree. Born Michael Anderson in Athens, Alabama, he recorded and self-released Closing Credits For A Fire in 2009. Shortly after he opted to undertake a stage name, and Anderson East was born with the release of the Fire Demos EP. 2012 saw the release of the fan-funded record Flowers Of The Broken Hearted, which saw him catch the ear of record executives. By 2015 he was a buzz name with a major label debut, Delilah, pleasing critics but not necessarily garnering the commercial acclaim it deserved.
Fast forward 3 years and Anderson's life could not be more different. As he releases his new album, Encore, he has enough profile to announce the album with a performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. While his star profile may have been raised a notch or two by association, the task that lay ahead of him as he wrote and recorded Encore was far more arduous. This is his make or break moment.
And he most certainly makes it. Encore is not the album many may have expected from Miranda Lambert's boyfriend. Far edgier and more interesting than her previous partner, Anderson serves ups retro soul married with Americana intention. Encore is a truly captivating affair that has you hooked from the steady intro of King For A Day through to the closing melancholy of Cabinet Door.
With the album telling a story, it is hard to pick out the highlight moments, but the highlight feature is the emotionally rich vocal that East boasts. With each note telling its own story, this is a compelling listen.
Although East shines on the slower cuts, it is when lets lose that he really moves you in many ways. With echoes of Fitz & The Tantrums earliest cuts, the cover of Ted Hawkins Sorry You're Sick is an inspired inclusion. However it is finding his inner Tina Turner on the Proud Mary-esque Surrender that he will have you throw your whole body into the moment.
Encore is an album that changes direction several times throughout the 11 songs contained within its walls, but with each twist and turn, East reveals a new depth that will have you wanting more.