So, every now and again, I like to switch things up and let other people tell me THEIR opinion on some of the music that has taken country music by storm, and for this review I have given Dave Brosseau, a friend and follower of this blog, the chance to give us his thoughts on the latest record by “Bro-Country” phenoms, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, also known as Florida Georgia Line. So, here is what he has to say about the latest record.
Well the time has come to give the new Florida Georgia Line album a spin. I knew I’d have to keep an open mind, as we’ve come to expect that they’re going to have a certain amount of autotune, and processed sounds in there. It just kinda is what it is. I will say that when the first single “Dirt” was released, I was fairly optimistic about this album, so let’s see what the rest has to offer.
Anything Goes- It’s the title track, so I was hoping it wouldn’t let me down, and you know… it didn’t. There aren’t a lot of crazy, over-processed sounds. It’s just FGL doing what they do, having fun. It’s a catchy song with a good beat. I do wish they didn’t add the autotune during BK’s break in the middle though, it would be nice to hear him get a little more real mic time. I could see this song doing well as a single.
Sun Daze- This track annoyed me in the first 3 seconds with the whistling, luckily it didn’t last long, but then it repeated after each chorus. The lyrics also bothered me, namely “Throw a 20 on a corn hole game, if I’m lucky yeah I might get laid” and “wear my favorite shades and get stoned”. The fact that this was chosen as the new single doesn’t sit well with me, especially considering the age of FGL’s main fanbase. Nothing about this track says country music to me, not the beat, not the lyrics, and stopping in the middle to say “Take ’em out to the sticks boys” followed by 20 seconds of banjo, isn’t going to fix it.
Good Good- There’s nothing special about this song. It’s just another song to a girl, about how much she turns him on, and how he wants to “not sleep” in the backseat of his Jeep. The beat isn’t bad, but the lyrical content does nothing for me.
Dirt- The first single from this album. This is the FGL I love, Tyler AND Brian sharing the spotlight. No unnecessary autotune or electronic fillers. It’s real instruments, real vocals, and a real story. It’s all about those memories we all have
of our old stomping grounds. Those things that no matter where you go, they always pull you right back. I could listen to this over and over, and I have.
Smile- Not much to say about this one. It’s another song about a girl, with all the “bro-country” key words. Radio dial, Blonde hair, midnight, river, etc. The fact that this track immediately follows “Dirt”, makes the lack of substance all the more obvious.
Sippin’ On Fire- They slow it down a bit with this one. I think just about everyone has been in that place after a break-up,
where that person is still all you know. You spend your time trying to convince yourselves it’s better this way, but you eventually give in again, even if it’s only for one night. This song does have a little autotune, but it doesn’t bother me. I actually like this one, but shhh, don’t tell anybody.
Smoke- A song about a Summer love that faded away, and how a smell brings all the memories rushing back. This song has a lot of the all too familiar lyrics, so it does have a bit of a generic feel to it, but not quite as much as some of the other tracks. I wouldn’t go out of my way to play this song, but if it came on, I could tolerate it.
Bumpin’ The Night- So here we have another “grab your girl and your drinks, and find a plce to park” song. I’m finding it difficult to find things to say about each track, when they all settle around the same story. The only thing that separates this one from the others, is that it’s slower. Ok, next.
Angel- Looking at the title I had hoped this might have some substance to it. Nope. Another song about drinking at night with your girl. The angel reference is that she’s a good girl, and saved him from his bad boy ways. If I want to hear that story done properly I’ll listen to “Hell On An Angel” by Brantley [Gilbert].
Confession- This one actually has a decent story, the lyrics are honestly pretty good. My problem is the music, it’s too upbeat for the story being told. If it was a little slower, and stripped down to a couple acoustic guitars and no autotune, it could be a good song.
Like You Ain’t Even Gone- Another song about driving around, wishing that girl was still with you. So anyway, moving on.
Every Night- Hey this song is different! Oh wait… no it isn’t. We get it, you like to pick her up so you can drink and listen to the radio. I can see why she likes to drink. I would too if I had to listen to his same stories over and over.
There are 3 more tracks on the Deluxe version. I won’t bother going over my thoughts, because unlike FGL I can’t come up with a dozen ways to say the same exact thing. When I went into this review I said to myself that I’d look past the autotune, because it’s become part of who they are. I almost had to approach them as their own genre, because let’s face it, there is little to nothing here that says Country music. Having heard their 2010 EP “Anything Like Me” it’s impossible to tell that these are the same two guys. I mean c’mon now, these are the guys who wrote and recorded “Black Tears” before Jason Aldean cut it. Deep down they are better than this, but I guess the industry’s pockets are even deeper. I give this album a fairly generous 5/10, mainly due to “Dirt” and a couple others I didn’t hate.
What’s sad is this album will still be successful, because of the huge flood of new “country” fans that just eat this stuff up.
If the genre continues in this direction of shallow redundancy, and they keep making huge money, we may never hear the real Brian Kelley, and Tyler Hubbard again.
Dave Brosseau is an avid country music listener and follower of this blog. Him and I have seemed to always see eye to eye when it comes to the music coming out a Nashville these days. After talking with him for quite some time I decided to let him give his thoughts on a review, I seem to agree with him, more so of the last statement. As always, follow me on twitter @Brandon_Ish, also like Country Underground on Facebook at facebook.com/country-underground