Maddie & Tae - Through The Madness Vol. 1
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Through The Madness Vol. 1 (Mercury Nashville, 2022)

Maddie & Tae

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Madison Font and Taylor Kerr, better known as Maddie & Tae, have given the world an album title perfectly fitting for our strange modern times. The only bad part about "Through The Madness," though, is that it's appended with "Vol. 1." Please, heavens above, no more madness! That humorous reservation aside, though, these country girls have created lovely music that just might distract you temporarily from all the world's current craziness.

These are, for the most part, mature love songs. The best of which is "Don't Make Her Look Dumb," which also features Morgane Stapleton on vocals. It's a lyric that observes a woman who has fallen for the wrong guy. Everybody around her sees this – except her. "We all mind our own business," they note, "until hearts start to break." Later, these observers are described as "too polite to say it" before the truly brave one announces, "I'm not." This guy is a real loser, without an ounce of empathy. "But it seems like you're enjoying this, like you're doing it for fun." The song is asking this people-user to have a heart, but the listener is left with the feeling that this request is falling on deaf ears. It's a lyrical angle rarely explored by country music quite so well.

Lori McKenna helped write and helps sing "The Other Side," which gives wise advice to the recently brokenhearted. This other side is post-breakup hope. "Even broke down hearts know how to shine." Sung over a quiet instrumental bed, this one applies the same empathy found in "Don't Make Her Look Dumb."

It should go without saying, that if we're going to make it through all the contemporary madness surrounding us, we're going to need a boatload of empathy. Thankfully, Maddie & Tae realize this and have filled their new collection with much needed emotional balm.

CDs by Maddie & Tae

Through The Madness Vol. 1, 2022 We Need Christmas, 2020 Start Here, 2015 Maddie & Tae, 2014

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