Being from a suburb, I always found myself in awe of grand songs about big cities and intimate ballads of rural landscapes. One of the more interesting stories we get out of these songs themed after their settings is what it’s like to leave or return to a completely different culture and way of life. Collin HP Henry takes a ride away from a place he knows too well and instead of focusing on the destination or even the journey, takes a moment to appreciate the gravity of the very decision to leave. Small Town Values isn’t a sad song, but it has all the nostalgia of knowing that sometimes our decisions will inevitably change our lives and we have to be ready to say goodbye to the things we know.
The song has the charm and tone of a folk track, mixed with the production of a pop hit that’s set on expressing a feeling more than getting anyone dancing. It’s a contemplative piece that doesn’t go too heavy on lyrical prose but allows plenty of room for sonic experimentation in the mix. It’s nice to hear small lines emerging off of the main melodies, keeping the sound varied and interesting. Small Town Values relies on the effort it takes to finally do what needs to be done, and carries that in its execution in a way that’s appropriate and appreciated.