Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

Gone West – What Could’ve Been

Could’ve been… more bubbly, perhaps?


Ian Mathers: “No, I said I like Go West, and even then I meant the Village People song the Pet Shop Boys covered, not a band.”

Thomas Inskeep: I honestly wouldn’t have expected a Colbie Caillat-and-friends-and-lovers country quartet to sound much different than Colbie Caillat, but this is delightfully surprising — much more Little Big Town than Jason Mraz. The harmonies are tight, the song is well-written, and the production sweet. Like with Darius Rucker, this genre slide-over feels much more organic than contrived.

Alfred Soto: It draws buckets from the same well of wist that Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum frequent. The harmonies signal the inseparability of lovers who couldn’t be. Sappy and inoffensive.

Michael Hong: This reminds me of “What If I Never Get Over You,” another question posed by a country group this year that dwells on lonely uncertainty and past regrets. Like Lady Antebellum, the draw is in the interplay between the vocalists, and Gone West’s harmonies are remorseful without being overblown. “What Could’ve Been” may not have anything quite as memorable as the pounding drums of “What If I Never Get Over You,” but its spacious arrangement paired with the group’s harmonies lend warmth to their collaboration.

Edward Okulicz: This has lovely verses which rest on a he-said she-said (though it’s largely in agreement, is there such a thing as a they-said?) told with expert bittersweetness. Alas, the chorus is overripe with cliches and feels sappy. To be fair, the verses lean on shopworn words too, but they’re put together artfully. Ah, nice harmonies, mind.

Leah Isobel: As authentipop-gone-country crossovers go, this is no “Leave the Pieces.” The mutual projection in the line “you’re on the mend and I’m on the bottle” adds a welcome bit of texture, but the rest of the track is too sanded-smooth to make an impression.

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