In the time that has passed since first getting introduced to his sound, Tim Raybon hasn’t been in the headlines much. With the success of the single “Can’t Get Away From This Broken Heart” early on in 2023, it soon became clear that fans were about to get a new album from his self-titled band, and this September, that LP arrives as I Could Get Used To This. I Could Get Used To This features ten brand new tracks, including the aforementioned single, and while it isn’t a total departure from the classic sound the bluegrass scene has been celebrating in the last few years especially, it’s an improved version of what I would call a rather stock blueprint.
In this record, an enigmatic singer, songwriter, and lyrical wizard dives into modern pastoral poetry with a mildly conservative approach, allowing for melodicism to take the place of bells and whistles other artists would style a whole album around. There’s a lot to dig through in this LP, but it’s a listen I would tell country and ‘grass fans to closely examine this September no matter what.
None of the songs on I Could Get Used To This feel lyric-dependent, but there’s something to be said about the sheer poetry Raybon throws into the mix of “1959,” “Sally Johnson” and “Ilene Baker.” “Ilene Baker” would make for a perfect single, should he decide to cut another one, and along with “Leaving Cleveland” and “That Reunion,” could certainly lead to some compelling jams in a live setting.
It will be really interesting to hear how he broaches some of these arrangements on stage, mostly because of how intricately designed everything in this LP feels. The multidimensionality of the master mix showcases the gorgeous sonic depth of the compositions here marvelously, and although the surface appeal of I Could Get Used To This is definitely enough to attract plenty of newcomers to the Tim Raybon sound, its substance will be what wins over loyal fans the most.
For all of the buzz and hype that’s surrounded this return to the spotlight for Tim Raybon, I’m not convinced that he is finished evolving this brand into everything it could be. This isn’t to say that I Could Get Used To This doesn’t sound and feel like the masterpiece fans deserve; it’s the opposite. Judging from the ambitiousness of this release, I think it’s obvious to most that Raybon still has a lot of ground that he wants to cover before hanging up his hat, and while there’s a lot of tough competition in the Americana scene, I think his experience will put him a cut above the rest indefinitely.
I Could Get Used To This is a robust album littered with more gems than a diamond mine trail, and among new records out this year, it’s one of my favorites thus far. Whether you’re a newcomer to the bluegrass sound or have been immersed in the joys of this genre for years, I think this is one of the better bands to keep an eye on as the year progresses forward.
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