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Nashville (TV show)

The Music of Nashville: Season 3, Volume 2 – 2015 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

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What made the music on ABC's Nashville effective for two seasons was that it felt like a lead character. The cat fighting between the two lead women made for some catchy arena ready revenge anthems and lost love ballads. This year, the music takes a back seat and does not pull its weight standing alone in the musical landscape.

Several of the previous four soundtracks have charted, some hitting the top spot. The cast's Ryman shows sold out in less than an hour. This effort has yet to make a commercial splash, and there has been no word on another live concert. The saving grace is that cast members Sam Palladio, Claire Bowen and Johnathan Jackson team up as the fictional Triple Exes. Each is a fine singer in his or her own right, and their silky harmonies bring Lady Antebellum immediately to mind. The show's behind the scenes roster still boasts a few heavy hitters. Sarah Buxton and Ashley Monroe lend their writing talents on two numbers. Buddy Miller heads up production while Big Machine label head Scott Borchetta helms Executive A&R

One again, standout Bowen somehow makes her lilting soprano do justice to John Hiatt's normally gruff "Have A Little Faith In Me."

There is a heavy dose of YouTube darlings Lennon and Maisy Stella perhaps not unrelated with Big Machine's loss of Taylor Swift for country whom the duo sound much like. Just as noticeable is co-star Hayden Panettiere's diminished role on the music side. She is featured on only three songs. (One of which is a bonus track). It parallels her fading role onscreen as her character battles post-partum depression and begrudgingly puts her career on hold. Although already renewed for another season, there is reason to believe it may be the show's last as the cliffhanger implies Deacon (Chip Esten) is going to lose his battle with cancer and Panettiere as diva Juliette Barnes battles psychosis and irrelevancy at age 25.. After a fairly strong showing by the previous four albums, it wouldn't be the worst thing if this was one of the last.