Single Review: Brothers Osborne, “Younger Me”

“Younger Me”

Brothers Osborne

Written by Kendell Marvel, Josh Osborne, and TJ Osborne

The challenges we face when we are younger shape us into the older and hopefully wiser person that we eventually become.  Sometimes, those struggles seem unnecessary in retrospect, but if we don’t experience them, would we still ultimately become the person we are today?

That’s the dichotomy explored in “Younger Me,” the powerful new single from Brothers Osborne.  It’s clearly shaped by TJ Osborne’s recent decision to publicly announce his homosexuality, which is a courageous thing to do within the confines of mainstream country music.  But his specific experience informs the spirit of the song without explicitly informing the lyric, which can be universally applied to all of us folks of a certain age, wishing we could tell our younger selves not to worry so much, but also knowing that those worries strengthened our spines and cultivated our self-determination.

It leads to this profound realization, which hit me hard:

Youth ain’t wasted on the young
These trips around the sun
I needed every one
To get where I’m standing now

There’s a tendency in our society to almost fetishize youth, as if it’s the ideal time of life and it’s all downhill from there.  But that’s not really true, at least as far as I’m concerned.  I appreciate who I was back then but it was a less fully realized version of myself that I wouldn’t want to go back to.  I’ve seen too much and learned too much since then.  “Younger Me” is pretty much what I’d tell younger me, and I appreciate who beautifully the sentiment is articulated.

One of the reasons I’m more optimistic for country music than I’ve been in a long time is that there are more artists that seem interested in making music for grownups again, rather than encouraging some endless state of arrested development.  This will be one of the best singles released this year, for sure.   It’s nice hearing a country record that I’m not too old to relate to.

Grade: A



  1. This is a pretty good song, with a universal theme and a somewhat understated presentation, which is a nice change from much of the music presented these days. I like that the vocal is front and center rather than being buried by the instrumentation

    I think I like this song better than anything I’ve heard from this act up to this point. I must confess I’d still rather hear the Osborne Brothers than the Brothers Osborne but this is a definite step in the right direction and worth the “A”

  2. There’s something going on with mainstream country production right now, and I think it’s directly connected to my being able to enjoy it again. They’re going back to basics and stripping things down to just a few core instruments.

    I thought everything sounding “loud” to me was just my getting older, but apparently it was an obnoxious production choice that artists are retreating from. It’s making for better singing without straining to be heard.

    I don’t know if I’m going to review it, but the newest Blake Shelton release – “Bible Verses” – takes this approach, and he sounds so much better on it than he has on recent recordings.

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