EP REVIEW: Jordan Davis – ‘Buy Dirt’

Following up the 2018 debut Home State which featured monster hits such as “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot”, “Singles You Up” and “Take It From Me”, and hot on the heels of the 2020 self titled EP, singer/songwriter Jordan Davis is back with his second EP Buy Dirt, full of catchy contemporary country music. 

We kick off with “Blow Up Your TV”, a 49 second John Prine inspired introduction to the record encouraging us to get outside away from the distraction of screens and appreciate nature. It segues seamlessly into Buy Dirt, a song featuring the unmistakable voice of Luke Bryan where we hear an old sage dispensing advice on investing in a property, settling down and starting a family.

Find the one you can’t live without
Get a ring, let your knee hit the ground
Do what you love but call it work… You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy dirt.

It’s a sign of where Jordan is in his career that someone with the clout of Luke Bryan is giving his seal of approval by being part of this track.

We then move into two up-tempo songs, “Need To Not” and “Drink Had Me”. The former is a track that wouldn’t be out of place on a Brett Young album, very much in the mould of “Your Memory Won’t Let Me”, and the latter is a great fun ditty about the perils of going out for ‘just one’ with your mates, leading inevitably to several more before phoning someone you really shouldn’t. It’s a well-used trope in country music but in Davis’ hands it doesn’t sound stale. 

Jordan has recently become a father for the second time and it’s perhaps this new-found responsibility that has enabled him to be able to reflect on his life so far. It’s in this head-space that he’s written the best songs on the EP. “Lose You”, “Almost Maybes” and “Trying” are about his wife and how they got to where they are. “Trying” is the stand out track, and the one that finishes up the EP – a ballad explaining how he’s a flawed guy but he’s trying to overcome his flaws. This is Davis at his most vulnerable, and in my opinion his best. 

Sandwiched in between those three is “I Still Smoked” which is probably the most traditionally ‘country’ of the songs in terms of instrumentation, and another which looks back to when he and his wife met. 

It’s a fine way to finish what is his best work to date. The impressive thing about Buy Dirt is that Jordan Davis wrote every song and continues to showcase his ability both as an artist and wordsmith. He’s mentioned previously that people remember him for his beard rather than his songs, which understandably annoys him; after hearing this EP, that definitely won’t be an issue for much longer.

Ben Pinsent

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