Parker Millsap

Review: Parker Millsap – Other Arrangements

Parker Millsap’s last record was Biblical. On 2016’s The Very Last Day, Millsap—just 23 years old at the time—wrote songs about Lucifer, the apocalypse, preachers, fire, and forgiveness. It was an intense, ambitious set of songs, and it only worked because of Millsap’s big hurricane of a voice. Here was someone with the kind of unhinged bellow that could sell a song about the devil trying to entice a pretty girl to climb into the front seat of his car. Here was a singer who could sell the desperation of a story where a preacher’s son had to come clean to his dad that he’d fallen in love with a boy. As a piece of writing and a display of vocal work, The Very Last Day was easily one of the most impressive albums of 2016.

On the follow-up, called Other Arrangements, Millsap drives pointedly in the opposite direction. This record sheds the stakes, ambition, and Biblical themes of its predecessor for a straighter, simpler proposition: pop music, circa 1963. The average song length is less than three minutes, and the best tune on the record—the propulsive, infectious “Gotta Get to You,” clocks in at 2:03. Instead of shooting for larger than life, Millsap is trying to serve up small, perfectly honed nuggets of throwback rock ‘n’ roll glory.

Review: Parker Millsap – The Very Last Day

Parker Millsap the Very Last Day

The country, Americana, and folk genres are known for their storytelling. Specifically, these genres are often recognized for taking microcosms and making them feel like the most important stories on the planet. On The Very Last Day, though, the third full-length album from Parker Millsap, the 23-year-old singer/songwriter is writing about nothing less than the end of the world. This album is a big, bold, and brash work—a record about apocalyptic wars, religious strife, the act of burning buildings to the ground, and plenty of death and rapture. The Devil, God, and Jesus Christ all make appearances. There’s a song about a soldier who comes home from war, feels forsaken by everything, and starts robbing gas station mini marts to make up for it. There’s another song about a preacher’s son falling in love with another man. Throughout, Millsap evangelizes from the front pulpit, his fire-and-brimstone roar hitting the balance somewhere between gospel and Led Zeppelin-flavored rock ‘n’ roll.