We’re reviving an old review format, because how else does one deal with five dudes releasing new singles to country radio?
“Where I Find God”
Written by Larry Fleet and Connie Harrington
Hey, do you remember that Real Country singing competition show? Of course you don’t. Anyway, I can see the Chris Stapleton influence is alive and well with Larry Fleet, and this is a nice-sounding tune. It’s refreshing to hear a single from a new country artist sound, you know, country. But it’s incredibly mawkish, as the title suggests. Credit to Fleet, though, for effectively underplaying the sentiment and making it feel a bit more grounded. I just wish there was more to this than empty images; we’ve got the sound back, we just need a story.
Florida Georgia Line
Written by Corey Crowder, Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, David Garcia, and Josh Miller
I’m going to avoid the obvious joke with this single by acknowledging this: reports of Florida Georgia Line’s imminent demise have been greatly exaggerated, even with this tepid retread of their earlier hits. If anything, those songs cemented their legacy long ago, creating a two-pronged effect. On one hand, it quickly framed the duo as a one-trick pony act that cashed in on said trick pretty quickly and effectively. But it wasn’t a very good trick, and the duo was always just here for a good time; not a long one. What I’m saying is, they’ve never had much to offer beyond material like this anyway, so I understand why it exists. But yeah, it’s not good, and in 2020, it just reads like a self-parody.
“Breaking Up Was Easy In The 90’s”
Written by Sam Hunt, Zach Crowell, Chris LcCorte, Josh Osborne, and Ernest K. Smith
Also, I may have only taken one semester of journalism studies in college, but the formatting of “90’s” in the title is going to drive me crazy all day.
Written by Elvie Shane, Nick Columbia, Russell Sutton, and Lee Starr
This reminds me of those times in the 2000s, when new male artists would launch their careers with mawkish tunes that would occasionally aim for pure critic bait. Your Blaine Larsens, Jason Michael Carrolls and Bucky Covingtons, for instance. Elvie Shane isn’t a terribly distinctive vocalist, and he comes really close to overselling this, which is a shame, given that it’s fairly subdued otherwise. But I appreciate the unique choice to frame this from the perspective of a stepfather who’s just appreciative of his role and takes pride in fostering a connection with someone he treats as his own. Surprisingly solid.
Written by Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, and Morgan Wallen
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! “Music Critic Fails to Understand Popular Artist’s Appeal.” To be fair, this is easily Morgan Wallen’s best single, if only because the strikingly organic production is a welcome pivot from his usual wall of sound. But as far as faded summer romance songs go, there’s not much to this. Wallen’s gravelly tone fails to compliment the languid atmosphere, lending an overserious tone to this track. And that’s even more jarring when the writing scans as incredibly whiny anyway. In short, Danielle Bradbery and Thomas Rhett performed this song better just a few years ago, and if that’s not the saddest, most damning indictment of this track, I don’t know what is.