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Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
The Observer

‘Bluebird Days’: Jordan Davis’ 17-track ode to clarity, introspection

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“Bluebird Days” are days where the sky couldn’t be bluer, couldn’t be any more cloudless and the sun couldn’t be brighter. It’s a phrase most often recognized by skiers but has broadened to be used generally by people who enjoy being outside. These bluebird days usually come after a night of hard rain or, according to the skiing definition, a night of powdery snowfall.  

For Jordan Davis, “Bluebird Days” have come to mean as much about emotional clarity as they do about physical freedom. From love to loss and life in between, there isn’t one mood that encompasses the album. Instead, the 17-track LP makes a case for accepting and embracing whatever comes when it shows up — much like a bluebird day in a grey winter. Track one, “Damn Good Time,” is a spirited, fast-paced song that bounces through the week and brings you to the weekend. Once there, you can crack a beer with Davis and take a breath. If you’re so inclined, you can “go from taking it easy to partyin’ hard,” but the track stays relaxed the whole way through, forcing no more than you’re ready to take on as you enter the introspective world Davis created. 

The project is nothing if not reflective. Every song deals with such small moments, but Davis unpacks them like they last for days. 

The emotional availability of the album continues with “Money Isn’t Real.” Again, the Louisiana native sets up a calm track that helps you remember what matters in life. Davis highlights the importance of embracing the little things again towards the end of the album, talking to his late grandfather from the “Fishing Spot” they went to together. 

The clarity resurfaces in “Next Thing You Know,” the third single off the album. “Buy Dirt” and “What My World Spins Around” rocketed Davis to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay, and for good reason. “Next Thing You Know” did the same while telling the story of a couple who found love and let it take the reins. The song has no chorus, but Davis has the chance to follow life after “next thing you know,” so the song jumps through milestones as fast as we feel we experience them. 

Davis turns inward on some of the tracks as well. “Sunday Saints” is a thoughtful piece of work that finds Davis grappling with his humanity in light of his faith. The country singer sits deliberating throughout the song with a Bible in one hand and a bottle in the other. “Short Fuse” also lets Davis look inward at his most stubborn emotion — anger. He reflects on his history, including his parentless childhood in the title track. There, “Bluebird Days” end and are just fleeting bright spots in a world full of messy weather. 

Davis also unpacks the highlights and difficulties in love and this is where his vocals shine even brighter. The ode to his love, “What My World Spins Around,” and its much sexier counterpart “No Time Soon,” let him vocally explore with ease. 

The breakup songs seem to center around exes that can’t shake each other, and they more deeply lend themselves to Davis’s vocal prowess. Davis and Danielle Bradbery put on two stunning vocal performances in a breathtaking ballad about these exes, titled “Midnight Crisis.” The same characters resurface in “You’ve Got My Number.” Here, Davis plays the double meaning: She knows him too well to let him go, and because of that, she also quite literally has his number. 

There’s fun in the album too, as the double entendre style of “You’ve Got My Number” is also used to lighten the message of “Sunday Saints.” It remains wholly introspective but cleverly utilizes wordplay, including a nod to the New Orleans Saints.

Across the album, the musical cues are worth all the time in the world. Whether it’s the drum line before the chorus of “What My World Spins Around” that sends chills down your spine or the subtle complexity within the relaxed beat and fun guitar line on “Damn Good Time,” you don’t want to miss Davis’ instrumentation. Every decision on the track feels deliberate and careful, and it shows in the body of work. Tied in with his vocals and the messages he crafts, you don’t want to miss this album.