The long-awaited debut album from Nashville hitmakers Ornament hit shelves on October 11th, and it’s easily one of the best albums to come out of Music City in the last couple of years. …As Is is full of unforgettable moments that you can’t get enough of. There’s something new in every listen it seems – hidden things you hear as you delve in further.
The record starts off with the title track, a beautiful one-minute string arrangement that slowly fades out and is replaced with the groove “Blues on Sale.” The second track follows a repeating riff that has other various layers added onto it over the course of the song, broken apart by a chorus. It’s irresistibly catchy, and the last chorus into the breakdown is perfectly executed.
Later on, single “Rayon City” starts off with a solid piano and bass drum combo, inviting you to explore the beloved neighborhood near Old Hickory, TN, through song. It has each member playing in mutual understanding of one another, with a captivating chorus and a beautiful string section that is scattered over the verses. “Rayon City” is an album favorite because of these reasons, but also because of the vocal performance on this track – especially towards the end, when you hear Mann filling in the spaces, and also when the trio sings together.
Another captivating track, “Mr. Weatherman” follows, and something about this particular tune keeps you coming back, listen after listen. The last minute and a half is strange and makes a great ending. Everytime I hear it, I try to decipher what is being said over the horns and guitar, but you can only get so much until the music draws you back in.
I think another reason I love this record so much is because of the buildup to it. After years of singles and live shows, it’s awesome to be able to hear the songs I’ve grown to love beautifully recorded. Ornament is an incredible live band; the most recent time I saw them was at Two Boots after their tour in support of …As Is. Despite some PA trouble, the group delivered a stunning live show that not only showed the unparalleled chemistry they have with one another, but it also showed the sheer talent they possess.
Anyways, back to the record. “What You Need” is another hit. The transition into the chorus is smooth, and tough as hell. It’s an anxious song, in it’s straightforwardness and cool sounding demeanor. There’s a part around the 1:20 part which I believe is an Omnichord, but it’s the greatest sound imaginable for this song. Words can’t describe the feeling it evokes, especially with the eerie horns in the background.
The album starts to wind down as it comes to a close. “Anybody’s Song” and “Stockholm Me, Baby” are two sweet songs that you’ll always end up singing along to, and the best from the second half of the record. I hope to hear more of these kinds of songs later on in the band’s discography.
All in all, if this is just the beginning of Ornament’s studio full lengths, I’m excited for the future. …As Is is an incredible debut album from one of Nashville’s most beloved acts and it will become a record that you play in heavy rotation. It’s definitely become one of mine.
Listen to …As Is: https://ornamenttn.bandcamp.com/album/as-is-2
Follow Ornament on Instagram: @ornamentfanclub
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