EOM (EP), by Ryan Hurd
The rankdown I was invited to do for Ryan Hurd included two short EPs, and since I found that pretty easy to listen to, I figured it would be worthwhile to listen to them both back to back to see if the feeling of an album length worth of material by the Nashville singer-songwriter was something I would appreciate more or not. There are some people, after all, that one can listen to more or less enjoyably on an individual song level or on an EP level but not when you move from a handful of songs to ten or more. Interestingly enough this EP includes some songs that were recorded by other artists as well as a cover. Does it hold up as well as his previous EP?
The EP begins with its title track, “Every Other Memory,” which shows Ryan Hurd in relatable mode dealing with the aftermath of having memories of a past lover which simply do not fade away even after the relationship is over. “Heartless,” which was covered by Morgan Wallen, is a far more gentle version than become popular by that singer-songwriter, reflecting on the desolation after a breakup. A cover of “False God” follows, with its melancholy reflections on bad communication and putting your faith in the wrong things. “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” is a song about enjoying the passage of time in repeating the same enjoyable activities of making love and enjoying creation. “Payback,” featuring the Cadillac Three, is an enjoyable honkytonk stomp sort of song with some sleek production. “What If I Never Get Over You,” which was also successfully covered by another artist, is performed here as a gentle and melancholy acoustic track. An acoustic and live version of “Wish In This World,” from his previous EP, then closes the track.
Overall, most of this album is made up of acoustic songs, and while this song was certainly a goldmine for artists to pick songs to cover and turn into hits, I like these songs slightly less than the previous EP. For me, the difference between this EP and Platonic is that Platonic had more songs with radio-ready production and this song has a lot more stripped down acoustic tracks that may be cheaper to produce and that may compete less with the cover versions that other artists do, but it takes a bit more imagination to flesh out the sound that could come from these songs, leaving the songwriting of Hurd to do more work here. I prefer studio polish to rather austere and sparce acoustic tracks, but that is a matter of my own taste. Others may disagree.