Ross Cooper comes by his country bonafides honestly: he was a professional rodeo bareback rider. His newest album, I Rode the Wild Horses blends alt-rock and country-folk, which Cooper considers the new Nashville sound, even though the two genres are rarely heard simultaneously. The alt-rock tracks "Heart Attacks," "The Wilderness" and "Me Only" are similar, but differ greatly from "Old Crow Whiskey and a Cornbread Moon," which is unmistakably Nashville country, and the title track, which conveys a Texan Wild West theme.
The message behind "Lady of the Highway" echoes Tim McGraw's "Highway Don't Care," but the solid songwriting drowns in a tiresome melody. The approach to "Strangers in a Bar" gives Cooper an alternative demeanour, with an acoustic finger-picking rhythm similar to "Oklahoma Sky" by Miranda Lambert.
I Rode The Wild Horses is hypnotic and embodies Cooper's cowboy demeanour with a newfangled slant. (Independent)