14 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While some fans might find it ironic that Cross Canadian Ragweed’s most commercially palatable album to date begins with a scathing put-down of mainstream record bosses (“Record Exec”), Mission California is a wholly satisfying fusion of the band’s Texas grit and the listener-friendly hooks of contemporary pop country. The album’s two standouts are radio hits with real feeling: “Cry Lonely” is a yearning ballad on a 4/4 backbeat, and “I Believe You” an optimistic singalong that still manages a sneer. With “In Oklahoma” the band has finally written the perfect anthem for its home state, while “Smoke Another” is firebrand rock’n’roll for the honky tonks. Even as the band opens its heart on “Soul Agent” and “Jenny,” they still make space for the ornery blues of “Deal” and “Dead Man,” the latter written by frontman Cody Canada as a kiss-off to his estranged sister. Whether you are looking for modern country with a little more attitude, or just longing for the Steve Earle of Guitar Town, Mission California is a rewarding listen.

EDITORS’ NOTES

While some fans might find it ironic that Cross Canadian Ragweed’s most commercially palatable album to date begins with a scathing put-down of mainstream record bosses (“Record Exec”), Mission California is a wholly satisfying fusion of the band’s Texas grit and the listener-friendly hooks of contemporary pop country. The album’s two standouts are radio hits with real feeling: “Cry Lonely” is a yearning ballad on a 4/4 backbeat, and “I Believe You” an optimistic singalong that still manages a sneer. With “In Oklahoma” the band has finally written the perfect anthem for its home state, while “Smoke Another” is firebrand rock’n’roll for the honky tonks. Even as the band opens its heart on “Soul Agent” and “Jenny,” they still make space for the ornery blues of “Deal” and “Dead Man,” the latter written by frontman Cody Canada as a kiss-off to his estranged sister. Whether you are looking for modern country with a little more attitude, or just longing for the Steve Earle of Guitar Town, Mission California is a rewarding listen.

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