Paul Cauthen Takes Brash and Creative Approach to Country Music on ‘Country Coming Down’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Photo credit: Jody Domingue

Blending the musical influence and attitude of Waylon Jennings with the swagger of the Wu-Tang Clan, Paul Cauthen delivers an impressively confident and highly enjoyable third LP with Country Coming Down. Bro Country this ain’t.

The template is set for the rest of the record right at the beginning on “Country As Fuck,” with Cauthen’s deep booming vocals (he’s called Big Velvet for a reason) reeling off his Texas credentials in a song that is as confidant as it is funny (“real cowboys don’t rock to Kenny Chesney”). It’s the over-the-top brashness of the record, unlike any of his earlier albums, which makes Country Coming Down such an infectious listen. There is a self-awareness and sureness to this album that’s been hinted at in earlier efforts but is finally fully realized here. 

The pattern continues on “Fuck You Money” and the spacey “Champagne & A Limo,” but Cauthen still makes room for deeper songs, like “Till The Day I Die,” a sweet valentine to his wife. As he put it recently in describing the album, “Y’know, you got your bangers, and you got your ballad. You got your meaningful songs where you’re opening up more of your vulnerable side, and then you’re putting on a fucking show – all in one album. And it’s all honest, I’ll tell ya that. Everything on there is something I’ve felt or thought before.”

If you can’t find something to like on Country Coming Down, it just might be time to take stock in your own musical tastes or possibly lack thereof. Even on his mellower numbers, like “Roll On Over” or the closing title track (co-written by fellow musicians and friend Aaron Raitiere), you can’t help but sing along at the top of your lungs. Cauthen started his career as an outsider to the mainstream Nashville Country music world, with his idiosyncratic style and attitude. Thankfully he has hung on tight to that stubborn individuality for his latest, and most eclectically enjoyable record yet.  

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