Release Date: May 14th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Mood Ring
Prior to this year, I think I wasn’t that open to much country artists (aside from Carrie Underwood!), but this year I’ve been much more receptive to and captivated by the genre, as most, if not all of the artists I’ve blogged about so far that are classified as ‘country’ are artists I’ve written about in 2020. By watching Grady Smith’s youtube channel of country reviews, I’ve become much more open to this genre, and all in all, I’ve found that I love listening to authentic country music that tells a story. Maddie & Tae have been one of the surprise artists this year to engage with and resonate with me, and one such country artist that has thoroughly delivered above and beyond anything I could even envision a country artist recording and showing to the world. Maddison Font and Taylor Kerr are songwriters and vocalists in their own right- and when you read my review of The Way It Feels, as well as my blog about them, and also listen to Matthew West’s podcast with them; I’m sure you’ll agree that these girls will be the talk on everyone’s lips in the many months and years to come. With their hit songs “Die From A Broken Heart” and “Girl In A Country Song” each achieving stratospheric success (within the country music scene at least!); the girls were on their way to tour their second full length album in 2020 and in 2021… and that’s when the pandemic hit. Like all musicians, Maddie & Tae recalibrated and re-evaluated… and thus the Christmas EP We Need Christmas was born. Fast forward to now, and still with no end in sight as to when concerts will be back to full capacity, Maddie & Tae released “Woman You Got”, a sassy, no-nonsense declaration of love for their husbands, as the duo also convey that even in platonic relationships that honesty is the key to aforementioned relationship thriving. Today though, Maddie & Tae show no signs of slowing down, as “Mood Ring”, another single, has just released. As in released in Australia today, and worldwide just 5 minutes ago!
Driven by the electric guitar, the slower paced country ballad is directed to an ex, who seems to be possessive and not understanding closure. At first, I didn’t understand what this track was about, but the more I ruminated and listened to these lyrics, the more I understood that this was a track calling out someone on their toxicity and fickle emotions- perhaps this guy is deliberate and is just a big baby who can’t accept things if they aren’t going his way- and I presume that’s the case as Maddie & Tae wouldn’t have been this intense and savage about someone who has schizophrenia or mental health issues. And thus since we are talking about an able bodied, fully functioning human being, “Mood Ring”, after several listens, is a must listen, as we are reminded to not surround ourselves with people who will take us for a ride, of people who do not ultimately love and appreciate us. it’s a warning of sorts, and as the girls authoritatively declare that ‘…boy, you’re just a mood ring, always in a mood swing, can’t make up your mind about a damn thing, emotions go from yellow, red to purple, got me drivin’ ’round in circles with your highs and lows, the way you hold me tight then let me go, I tried wearin’ it, but now I know- 1993, it ain’t my kinda bling…’; we are reassured that we don’t have to hold onto relationships that keep us down. We can let go, and we can feel liberated and free as well!
I used to think that I’m not the ‘target audience’ of Maddie & Tae. This was especially evident as The Way It Feels delves deep into the security of relationships and the transient nature of falling in and out of love- and as a single person, I can’t relate to these songs as well as others. Yet there’s something about Maddie & Tae in general that makes me keep coming back and listening despite the initial misgivings and the initial apprehensiveness. It’s the realness of these songs, it’s the authenticity, the vulnerability, the emotion, the honesty, and the heartfelt nature of the lyrics that pull at my emotions. If you’re not impacted by a number of songs from Maddie & Tae; then what can I say? You’re not really human? Anyway, as you guys all read more about what I have to say about Maddie Font and Taylor Kerr in my blog, and how God has used them to strengthen my faith and how God has used them to open my eyes more about the complexities of life; let us dive deep into both “Woman you Got” and “Mood Ring”. It may take a couple of listens, if you’re not a fan of country, but I guarantee that you’ll find something compelling and inspiring that you will resonate with. Shall we start a countdown to their 3rd full length album, whenever that may be?
RIYL: Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Kacey Musgraves, Luke Coombs, Dan + Shay