Sonny & the Sunsets – Tomorrow is Alright

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Sonny & the Sunsets actually released this album quite some time ago, almost two years, from the word on the streets, but it’s really just seeing the light of day for the masses right now.  Despite that this is a re-release, this will be the first time any of us encounter Sonny Smith and friends.  Tomorrow is Alright offers us a glimpse into the past of the band, and where we can reasonably expect them to head in the future.

This might be just one man’s opinion here, but you’re going to be hard pressed to find a stripped down number this year as good as “Too Young to Burn.”  Sonny’s vocal affect is warm and friendly, like your older brother’s band is just having a nice little jam in your backyard.  And that chorus, man that chorus is just ridiculous.  Some will tell you that the whole affair peaks right here, but rest assured, there are many more solid moments to come, though this could go down as the best.

“Strange Love” operates in a different world altogether.  A barroom piano, and some acapella moments for accompaniment provide the track with a bit of country-western jangle.  It’s something that allows the listener to get into the spirit of the whole album, which seems fueled more by whiskey in dive bars than California sun.  You’ll also find yourself getting into “Planet of Women,” especially with the male/female vocal interplay that goes on between the lyrics.  It’s hard to see how a song that sounds so simple can be so elating.  There’s a bit of a wink and a smile in the songwriting process, and you’ll break into a grin when you hit the lyric “queen I like it like that.”  Special moment.

Other reviews have sort of dismissed the lackluster approach that appears throughout Tomorrow is Alright. Oddly, though the band take their time to warm you up to songs like “Stranded,” the power of such songs succeeds precisely for that approach.  The band isn’t rushing into anything here, not trying to be overly convincing for their audience.  But, in doing so, you will find Sonny & the Sunsets every bit as endearing as your favorite artists, simply because there is no pretense to the craftsmanship of the tunes; they just want to play for you.  Even as they seem to kind of half-ass it, they give you tracks like “Chapters,” which boils down to little more than a nice little stomp, and mentions of various chapters.  You might not be sure why you love it, but damn if it’s not enjoyable.

You’ll find a band doing their own thing when you come to the album’s closer, “Lovin on an Older Gal.”  A twangy little jam until the very end, but one that exudes confidence in the best way, showing that the band is indifferent to praise here and there, they just want to give you some great tracks to enjoy while you’re sitting around the house.  Tomorrow is Alright probably won’t wow too many listeners around the globe, but that doesn’t ever seem to be the point.  You want good songwriting that you can share with all your friends?  Then check out this re-release by Sonny & the Sunsets.


Download: Sonny and the Sunsets – Too Young to Burn [MP3]

Sonny and the Sunsets @ Beerland – (6/6)

Date Sunday, June 6th
Location Beerland
Doors 1000p
Tickets Who Knows?

You’re bummed you missed the MGMT show on Sunday, so you’re looking for something spectacular to do, right? Well, the hot ticket that no one seems to be paying much heed to is Sonny and the Sunsets.  They’ve got a bit of that Dutchess and the Duke sound going, with a whole lot less of the Rolling Stones to it.  Really, this is the place to be on Sunday night, no matter what you’re into, as this band is legit. One listen to their album Tomorrow is Alright and you’ll be hooked; I promise.  Be there if you know what’s good for you!


Download: Sonny and the Sunsets – Too Young to Burn [MP3]