Album Review: Jordan Davis’ ‘Home State’
Jordan Davis proves his staying power on his memorable debut album, Home State, out March 23. The Shreveport, Louisiana, native worked with producer Paul DiGiovanni for the 12-song collection, which blends slick production and thoughtful lyrics for a diverse project.
All 12 tracks on Home State are co-written by Davis and as a result, the listener gets to know the inner-workings of the singer. Standout ballads like “Slow Dance In a Parking Lot” and “Leaving New Orleans” highlight his sentimental side while “Take It From Me,” “More Than I Know” and debut single “Singles You Up” showcase his undeniable country swagger.
The album kicks off with the infectious “Take It From Me,” where Davis tells a girl they should ditch the after party and instead do their own thing. The polished production and rhythmic singing style featured on “Take It From Me” make it an instant party anthem. Later, on “Selfish,” he cleverly explains how he wants to stay in bed all day and keep his girl to himself despite her already made plans. His smooth singing style coupled with John Mayer-inspired guitar parts and seductive beats, further gets his point across.
The captivating beats continue on “More Than I Know,” penned by Davis, DiGiovanni and Blair Daly. With hand-clapped rhythms and Davis’ soulful vocals, the listener is immediately drawn in as he sings of a woman he just can’t get enough of. “When it comes to you, I don’t know what I got into / You love like a wildfire / Light me up like a live wire / But I can’t get enough / You kiss like a hurricane / Off the tracks like a runaway train / But I think I’ll try my luck,” he sings.
Relationships aren’t always easy and this struggle can be heard on “Tough to Tie Down” as Davis sings of a woman who’s “good at lovin’ and better at leavin’.” While he has a tough time getting the woman to commit, he sings of how he’ll keep pursuing and loving her “as long as this world keeps spinning ’round.” A sweet sentiment, he continues the thoughtfulness on the romantic “Slow Dance In a Parking Lot.” On the enchanting ballad, Davis’ vivid storytelling sets the scene as he spins his lady around by the Walmart sign in a deserted parking lot. As a rent-a-cop drives around, Garth Brooks’ “She’s Every Woman” plays from the car stereo speakers. “Making the most of whatever we’ve got / Even if it’s just a slow dance in a parking lot,” he sings.
While at times Davis’ rhythmic singing style brings to mind Sam Hunt, the Louisiana native sets himself apart within his standout songwriting and unique storytelling. This is perhaps best seen on album closer, “Leaving New Orleans,” with a picturesque description of the city that helped mold his diverse sound. As he sings of the need to leave New Orleans because everywhere he goes he’s reminded of his ex, Davis’ vivid details of the popular city put the listener in the song. Meanwhile, light horn accompaniment adequately pays tribute to The Big Easy. Overall a standout debut that highlights Davis’ ability as both a vocalist and a songwriter, Home State marries big sounds and production with the vulnerability of his lyrics for a truly enjoyable listen.