Review Summary: A stale, cliche and forgettable pop album.
There's no mistaking it, Florida Georgia Line is the epitome of pop country music in 2014. With relative success on the music charts, and with their single 'Dirt' hitting the coveted #1 slot on country Billboard, Florida Georgia Line proves that for better or worse, they're here to stay. With their latest album, 'Anything Goes', the duo lives up to the title on this album, certainly anything that sells, goes.
In all fairness, Florida Georgia Line isn't really a country band. These guys are more or less a turn of the century boy band moonlighting as a bad pop country outfit. Almost nothing on this album feels authentic. Listening through the roughly 40-minute play time is an exercise in repetition and cliche.
Take for instance the lyrics to 'Bumpin' the Night': “Two bottles of Bud, two speakers in the trunk, two people in love, just bumpin' the night, two crazy hearts.” The lyrical content of this album is what one would expect out of someone who watched the Blue Collar Comedy tour on repeat while listening to Jason Aldean and Toby Kieth in the background. Throw in a healthy dose of metro-sexual 'refinement', and you're looking at 'Anything Goes'. Only more stereotypical and less interesting. Trucks, booze, girls and partying are the bread and butter of this record.
Clearly the band was going for a 'feel good' album, and taken individually there's nothing particularly offensive about each song. On their own, they're each pretty harmless nods to drinking, driving trucks and having a good time. The problem arises when they release an entire record comprised of nothing but these exact same cliches. Quite frankly, it's like they had two singles written, and decided to chop them up and stretch them out over eleven songs.
I say eleven songs, because in all honesty, 'Dirt' really isn't a terrible track. In fact, it's the only song on the album that expresses anything close to real, heartfelt sentiment. It's overstated, grandiose pop country instrumentation is fitting, and it's lyrical content actually feels like some effort and thought was put into it.
Of course, this in no way meaningful way offsets the other eleven tracks chock full of tacky production and mindless attempts at fun. And I do mean tacky. On songs like 'Smile' the listener is treated to some of the most basic banjo picking ever recorded. The solos on most tracks feel like they were thrown in as an afterthought. The guitar work is nothing new, even by modern pop country standards and the drumming is as basic as everything else.
Most of this could be forgiven, or at least more acceptable, if this album wasn't so relentlessly forgettable. As with most half-assed pop artists, Florida Georgia Line shoots squarely for flash in the pan fame. Seeing as they're on tour with one of the bigger names in pop country, Jason Aldean, it appears to be working.
If you like your music shallow, bland, repetitive and forgettable, Florida Georgia Line's latest album is right up your alley. If you don't, then steer clear of 'Anything Goes'.