ernest two dozen roses review

Two Dozen Roses review | Ernest is disarmingly charming

★★★★☆ Ernest's Flower Shops (The Album): Two Dozen Roses is a deluxe country music expansion showcasing the versatile crooner's signature style and blending of influences.


Ernest’s Flower Shops (The Album): Two Dozen Roses is a deluxe country music expansion showcasing the versatile crooner’s signature style and blending of influences. From anti-millennial intonation to smooth ballads, Ernest proves he’s full of surprises and disarmingly charming. Read our Two Dozen Roses review.

What happens when the prodigal son spawns a child of his own? Ernest’s Flower Shops (The Album): Two Dozen Roses adds thirteen tracks to the deluxe expansion of its parent album to produce something a little strange, almost disarmingly charming, and best of all, very happily country.

We know that Ernest can write a hit – he’s been responsible for earworms by Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and, famously, Morgan Wallen, whilst his own single ‘Flower Shops’ (a collaboration with Wallen) has been certified platinum. How does he manage it? Well, it’s not that Ernest paints by numbers. It’s more that he knows how to use primary colours and short strokes to make something that’s three good-looking colours on the page to some or an abstract meditation to others, and therefore vast in its appeal.

On this deluxe edition, which starts at ‘This Fire’, we mostly get the three good-looking colours. We’re drawn in by the melodic sing-song of Ernest’s voice across the rise and fall of repetitive phrasing, with its very anti-millennial intonation continually rising upfront, as seen on the pre-release ‘Songs We Used To Sing’ or the choruses of the irresistible ‘Nothin To Lose’, and the somewhat more resistible ‘Drunk With My Friends’.

ernest two dozen roses review

Elsewhere we have the laid-back surfy rock of ‘Wild Wild West’, the strange lullaby-sounding ‘Miss That Girl’, or the rich’Unhang The Moon’ with its silver-tongued strings. Ernest has a habit of changing his mind halfway through a song, like on ‘Anything But Sober’ – one of the album’s many highlights – that transforms the southern rock of its verse into the honky tonk wink of its chorus.

LISTEN to a new Country Music show produced by whynow in collaboration with BBR Music. Our hosts, Ross Jones, Ciara Bains and Holly Smith, chat with both established and emerging country musicians about their life, music career, and creative process.

On tracks like ‘Hill’, we get to the country radio-friendly production style, opening with that atmospheric echoing hint of electric guitar. However, he has the smarts to keep things interesting by ending the chorus on a moody uptick rather than letting it settle into its own sweetness. It’s followed by Burn Out, another song that sounds radio-made and even contains the modern-day country music sin of a line “baby that’s just how we do”.

At his core, Ernest is a crooner, one who takes you by surprise – the kind that makes you sit up a little straighter and ask, “who is THAT”? It’s a style that he blends across songs that span a range of influences, whether it’s the honky tonk charm of ‘Heartache In My 100 Proof’ (which, in a just world, would be a radio hit) and the singalong chorus of ‘This Fire’, or the straight-up smooth shot of a ballad that is ‘What Have I Got To Lose’.

Part of the intrigue of ‘Flower Shops’ was the utterly grabbable soundbite of its chorus – “It’s a tough day for love but a good day for flower shops”. Lyrically there’s nothing quite as clever on this deluxe edition, but that’s the power of three good-looking colours. It’s just a damn good time to prove that deluxe editions of albums aren’t constantly dumping grounds – sometimes, they’re where the roses bloom.

Leave a Reply

More like this