I won’t lie, I was a bit broken heartened when A Rocket To The Moon called it quits, so when Nick Santino, former ARTTM frontman/lead singer, announced he would be putting out a solo album I was half excited but half skeptical. On Your Side was a great album, in my opinion, and with claims like Big Skies continues “exactly where Rocket left off”, I was ready to immerse myself in everything Nick Santino. However, after listening to this album in its entirety Big Skies does not necessarily continue “where Rocket left off” but rather carves a path for Nick Santino that is all his own.
Starting off the album, songs like “Bad Taste” and “Can’t Say I Miss You” seemed to pull from a Pioneer and Forever Halloween John O’Callaghan twang, while the instrumentals in songs like “Keep On Going”, “It Is What It Is” and “Back To Where I’m From”, that bring up the middle, seemed to draw more from Country influences. While I’m usually not a huge fan of single paced albums, especially when they are of the slower variety, Big Skies seems to keep my attention. Lyrically this album is extremely relatable and songs like “Jackson Browne” and “Have A Little Faith In Me”, which are also my personal favorites, pull at those love lost heart strings we all have. “She Don’t Miss Me” closes out the album and I honestly think it could have done without it as I would have been satisfied with something more like “Mood Ring Eyes”, which encompasses a more upbeat feel, as a closer.
If you go into Big Skies with expectations of continuing where ARTTM left off, you might be a bit let down, but that doesn’t mean this album isn’t strong on it’s own. Big Skies seemed to be the right step for Nick Santino as he embarks on his solo career, so put all your preconceived notions of what you think this album “should be” aside, pick up a copy of Big Skies and surround yourself with what it is.