I just wanted to get this out of the way first, I have been listening to Brantley Gilbert (BG) since the better part of 2008, so I’ve heard everything he has put out from the unreleased songs all the way up to this latest record. With that being said, this review is going to be an HONEST review of how I feel about it. Now that I have the disclaimer out of the way, I am going to go down track by track giving my thoughts on the song, then at the end I will give my overall impression.
If You Want A Bad Boy – First track on the record and he is already telling me how bad he is. I’m sorry but when I first started listening to BG, it was his lyrics turned me into a fan. I feel like every song I have heard has something to do with him being a “bad boy”. Not digging this song too much, it sounds all too familiar. I actually skipped it halfway through the first time I listened to it.
17 Again – Listening to this song, it instantly reminded me of the song “Back In The Day” Talking about homecoming dances, friday nights, and that letterman’s jacket he gave Katie. He speaks about spring break in Panama City. Again the song sounds all too familiar, but I think because it reminds me of that song, I kind of like it.
Bottom’s Up – By now, everyone and their mother has heard this song. When it first came out, I wasn’t a fan of it. Auto-Tune, and the effects in the song, just doesn’t sound like the BRANTLEY GILBERT that I have been listenting to. Now when I listen to it, I normally crank it up, it’s catchy. I like this song, and it’s the first song a like on the record.
That Was Us – This song reminds me of my highschool buddies, “retelling stories and lies we rehearsed about the girls we made out with and how bad ass we were”, but this song also reminds me of “Them Boys”, off of the Halfway to Heaven record. I like “Them Boys” so, I kind of like this song as well, it takes me back, I’m Gone – I really have mixed emotions about this song. I like it alot, because it tells a story about someone finally making the decision that they needed to make to move on with their life. In the same breath, this song came out about the same time BG and Jana Kramer decided to go in separate directions, and it was believed that the song was written in regards to that situation, if so, then the only thing I can say about that is wow.
My Baby’s Guns N’ Roses – First heard the live version of this song floating around YouTube, liked it then, and hearing the studio version, I like it more. It isn’t what I expected, but I still like it alot. And it doesn’t remind me of anything off his previous records!!
Lights Of My Hometown – I am COMPLETELY BIASED about this song. I heard this song two years ago when Brian Davis cut it on his record, fell in love with it. It helped me get through a time in my life that was rather rough with the loss of MULTIPLE people in my life. When I heard it was going to be on this record I got excited because I wanted to hear how Brantley was going to do it. Then I listened to it…. and I will always go back to Brian Davis’ version of it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THIS SONG, and will listen to either one, but I will prefer BD of BG for this song.
One Hell Of An Amen – Written with the AMAZING Uncle Mike Dekle and Brian Davis, OHOAA is an awesome song in my opinion. It’s one of those songs you have to take your hat off. Gives me chills when I hear it. This song also makes me think of a few instances in my life. Seems like the songs that he does with Mike Dekle seem to touch people.
Smalltown Throwdown – This song, the latest single, I don’t know how I feel about it yet. First thought was that I didn’t like it. It doesn’t remind me of Brantley. Pretty sure its going to be a hit in the mainstream though. I do like the features in it, Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, two kick ass artists. We’ll see about this one, ask me later about it.
Let It Ride – The title of his tour, I thought this song was going to be a hard hitting, in your face, party-rock anthem. Boy was I COMPLETELY wrong, its a slower song, about the “bad boy” falling in love. The other side to, “Fall Into Me”. It’s ok. But I don’t know if I would have named my tour after it.
Faith In You – I like it, I really like this song. But, its MDPS all over again, just with different words. But I like this song.
G.R.I.T.S – I can’t listen to this song, I don’t like the new version of it. I will ALWAYS go back to the old version of this song. Plain and Simple.
Read Me My Rights – It sounds like he struggled to sing this song. You can really tell the industry has taken its toll on his voice. I’m not a big fan of this song either. Once again, he is telling me how much of a bad boy he is.
Grown Ass Man – I absolutely love this song, this song reminds me of that old Brantley Gilbert, hearing what I think is Jess Franklin on the lead, no drums, just a voice and a guitar.
Overall, if you are still with me and reading this, the CD in my eyes is ok. It’s not his best work, that will always be MDPS and H2H. There are a few songs on there that I will listen to over and over. But in my eyes, it seems like its fabricated. Like I said at the beginning of this, I have been a fan of BRANTLEY GILBERT since 2008, MDPS, GRITS, MKP, You Promised, Picture On The Dashboard, Anymore Perfect, Play Me That Song, I’ll Fly Away. All of these songs are what got me HOOKED. Some people will say, “Yes he’s evolved its great to see him change..” But like someone once told me, “It was the music that drove the fan base and success, they talk about him as a bad ass country rocker, but it was the pure song writing talent and connection to people that made him who he is now.” 7/10 STARS