Review Summary: Chris Young releases 9 songs of filler.
Before this point, I could say with a pretty high degree of confidence that Chris Young had not made a bad album. His album A.M. came out in 2013, the middle of the bro-country craze, and here he was, one foot into the mainstream sounds, but still soundly on the traditional side of the fence. Sure Aw Naw was pretty "bro-country," but by no means was it the worst song that came out that year. And besides, Chris`s voice, which is definitely one of his best assets, sounded as strong as ever. Yet here, the same can`t be said. His voice sounds pretty tame, like he has lost the edge. Though that is not the case, he has given in and tried to chase down trends and achieve a higher degree of mainstream success. Lead single "I'm Comin Over," is a song about falling into a pattern of going back to your ex knowing you shouldn`t. The music video plays on the seductive side of this song, trying to use sex appeal to gain views and listens. The song itself is ok, but by no means anywhere near the top of what Chris has to offer. Chris simply is not singing his heart out heer, as he was on songs like "Drinkin me Lonely," where he seemed to believe it the words he was singing. There`s not a lot of variety here, just 11 songs that kind of roll by in a little over half an hour. There are more elements of electric guitar, and not Telecaster twang, but more like generic rock crunch, stuff that has permeated the airwaves for the last 5-6 years. The solos are not even good, they are just there to provide a little something extra. No joke on 10 of the 11 tracks there are electric guitar solos and I can`t remember a single one, they are that generic. Even Sober Saturday Night, a duet Vince Gill, which should denote quality, is frustratingly average, (you can barely even hear Vince) not leaving the listener with much of anything new. And that is the problem, Chris has been there, done that. These are the same old lyrical themes that he is rehashing again and to be honest, they are all lesser versions of his other songs that have the same themes. The songs are pretty forgettable. Go to "I Know a Guy," it is supposed to be a classic country heartbreak song, but the lyrics are just bland as all get out and Chris does not put in the effort vocally. Right before the chorus kicks in, you think he`s gonna belt it out and get the blood flowing a little, but he actually keeps the song at a relatively uninspired mid-tempo. He sounds maybe a little resigned and bored, like he knows the songs could be better from all standpoints. Vocally, instrumentally and especially in the songwriting. I actually do not know which element here is the worst, because we absolutely know that Chris is better. He can write good, even great, traditional country tunes, while sometimes hovering on the edge of rock. But when did he become a Kenny Chesney beach bum as evidenced by "Sunshine Overtime." The songs are catchy, no toes are stepped on too terribly like a Florida-Georgia Line or Sam Hunt album would likely do, but its all pretty forgettable, no lines that leave you contemplating the meaning or calling for a repeat listen. The only exception here comes with the last two track "Callin my Name" and "What if I Stay which aren`t amazing by any means, but are definitely above the rest of the album that they deserve recognition for actually breaking the mold that the first 9 songs of the album. Even on this album, thoug it is at the end, Chris Younng proves that he can produce some songs that are decent, yet here he has chosen to opt for commercial viability by way of chasing trends, and making forgettable tunes. He absolutely can make better and the sad thing is: we all know it.