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Country - Released November 6, 2015 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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The name Old Dominion suggests something weathered, old, and sturdy -- a description that cannot be applied to either this Nashville quintet or their shiny bright 2015 debut, Meat & Candy. Old Dominion is keenly aware of what constitutes contemporary country music in 2015, knowing that the pendulum is slowly swinging away from the swaggering confidence of bro country and toward a softer, sweeter pop that bears pronounced but understated hip-hop inflections. It's smooth, often romantic music, sometimes succumbing to a bit of country corn -- the band's breakthrough single "Break Up with Him" is a booty call disguised as a seduction -- but Old Dominion wear their cheese with pride and not an insubstantial amount of charm, thanks partially to lead singer Matthew Ramsey's everyday charm but also to the band's impeccable craft. Every member of the quintet spent time working behind the scenes in the Music City, co-writing songs by the likes of the Band Perry and Dierks Bentley, so they're familiar with what pushes a song on the radio, and they also had the good fortune to align themselves with producer Shane McAnally, a collaborator with Brandy Clark and producer of Kacey Musgraves and Sam Hunt. Meat & Candy aligns closely with Hunt's Montevallo, particularly in its casual rap rhythms -- evident not only in the beats that underpin the productions but also in Ramsey's delivery -- but Old Dominion lack the beefy assurance of Hunt. Instead, this is a sharper, savvier variation of Rascal Flatts: crossover pop as suited for an office as it is for a make-out session. That's an endorsement, not a dismissal: it's hard to sound this light and easy, but Old Dominion do it with aplomb and they're such talented craftsmen that Meat & Candy sounds better on the fifth play than it does on the first, and it sounds mighty fine that first time through. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released August 25, 2017 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Old Dominion occupy a distinct position in 2017's Nashville, happily playing to the center when their peers are either gunning for outlaw cred or angling for a stylish R&B-country fusion. With Happy Endings -- the group's second album, following their 2015 debut Meat and Candy by two years -- Old Dominion emphasize their light touch with the melodic mainstream, crafting an album so tuneful and supple it feels designed to slide onto adult-oriented playlists anywhere from the glory days of Urban Cowboy to the present day. Thanks to producer Shane McAnally, the album firmly belongs in the latter camp -- it has a pleasant digital sheen, filled with little percolating details -- but the songcraft of this writing collective is so strong, it's not hard to imagine the individual tunes appearing at other points in Music City history. For instance, if the breezy "Shoe Shopping" had an analog makeover, it could be played on country-pop radio at the dawn of the '80s and "New York at Night" is majestic enough to suggest sky-scraping adult contemporary anthems of the '90s. Old Dominion cleverly thread modern themes -- not to mention the occasional targeted profanity -- into their songs, so their tales of heartache and love feel fresh and also specific. Images of text bubbles, ruined jeans, and a forgotten hotel give the songs a contemporary feel that nicely complements the classicist construction. Since Happy Endings flows so easily, it may be easy to glide along with its slick surfaces, but a close listen reveals not only the sturdiness of the songs but the cleverness of the production -- and, if anybody is still doubting the smarts behind Old Dominion and McAnally, they close the proceedings with a live cut called "Can't Get You." Loud and bold, "Can't Get You" proves Old Dominion can do more than mellow pop, but the rest of Happy Endings is so irresistibly smooth, it's no wonder the group decided to emphasize their soft side here. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released August 25, 2017 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released January 18, 2019 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released May 3, 2019 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released September 28, 2018 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released November 6, 2015 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released March 1, 2019 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released August 24, 2018 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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