Asking for a Friend
Label: Atlantic/Warner Music Nashville
Lasso the Sacramento singer-songwriter, who jumped from YouTube virality to country radio in late 2017, alongside Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge and Walker Hayes in modern-day Nashville’s blue-eyed soul corral – songs like “Second to Last” and top 20 hit “All on Me” are smooth yacht-rock throwbacks propelled by falsetto r&b notes. But he gets more audacious than that, beginning with the electro-funk wah-wah, talkbox and whooshing/clanking/sniffling/coughing effects of multi-meaning opener “Dip,” and on through the almost dubbish negative space producer Jay Joyce applies to “Symptoms” and “Prison.” Dawson’s good at light-and-easy. But “War Paint” warns of an Underwood/Loretta-style squaw on the warpath, and by its last couple tracks, Dark Horse does indeed turn somewhat dark.