What’s the verdict?
We’ve had about half a week to dive into the new Tyler Childers record, and so far the reviews are pretty mixed.
Titled Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven?, it’s a 3-part album featuring 8 songs, each in three different styles, for a total of 24 tracks.
The Hallelujah album features Tyler’s band The Food Stamps, while the Jubilee version explores the idea of adding more instruments to the band… some horns, strings, sitars and more. And then finally, the Joyful Noise version which is primarily electronic and instrumental.
Some folks found it to be an incredibly inspired and powerful piece of art… and others? Well, they found it to be lacking in new material, especially since there was so much hype around the album.
With the title track being relatively old, “Purgatory” being the title track from a previous album, the Hank Williams cover, and a couple that are primarily instrumental, some folks argued that we really only got three new songs.
Others found “Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven” to be sacrilegious, and took exception to Universalist message of “Angel Band,” but I’m not about to get into an exegesis on Gospel doctrine right about now. Nor do I really care to discuss theology with the obnoxious masses whose only favorite Tyler Childers’ song is the one about cocaine.
Nevertheless, I found it to be a pretty cool project from Tyler, and while I would’ve liked a little more meat on the bone, most of Tyler’s records top out around nine or ten songs… why would this be any different?
All that being said, Tyler himself has once again weighed on the project with writer and author, Silas House, for Part 2 of his behind the album interview:
“It’s processing through life experiences and the different philosophies and religions that I’ve taken in and have informed me on trying to make a comprehensive, sonic example of that.
Working with the same song in three different ways is a nod to my raising, growing up in a Free Will Baptist church that believes in the Holy Trinity… the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost… and what that means.”
He goes on to say how he thought of each part in terms of the Trinity, but more so, he explains how he got more abstract with the Joyful Noise album:
“Just toying with the feeling of each song, that’s what the third installation of the album is about, the remixes… which was a completely different experience that I never had that opportunity.
We did it with Brett (Fuller), Charlie Brown Superstar, but then this was a completely different way of playing that notion.
We went through archival footage of a radio program out of Sandy Hook, and I found every single broadcast that they had let a woman lead prayer. I picked one of my favorite prayers, one that I felt was most fitting for the song, and we gave her a solo.
And then at the end of it, we took all those prayer requests and laid them over the top of each other… and if you didn’t grow up in that type of church, there’s no way to describe that… that feeling of somebody leading prayer and then all of the sudden everybody’s prayers are going straight out the top of this old country church into beyond
That’s powerful… and I was hoping in some way, shape or form, to at least give a glimpse into what that can look like.”
It definitely helps shed some light on the thought process behind the project.
Check out the full interview below:
“Way Of The Triune God”