September 20, 2013

Chris Young "A.M." Review

Chris Young has always had such a distinct sound from his heartfelt ballads to his deep, country twang that makes you feel like you're listening to Prime Country. So, it started to worry me (only a little) that he was branching out a bit more with his latest CD, A.M, released this past Tuesday.

His first single, Aw Naw is definitely more rough than his past hits, including, "The Man I Want To Be," "Voices", "Tomorrow", and even, "Neon." When he said the album was going to reflect more of the live show, I figured we would lose most of the ballads that I love so much. I say this time and time again, but to me, country music is so deep rooted in its ballads, that those are the ones I connect with the most, whether or not I've felt that way in a relationship.

Having said all of that, after streaming the album on amazon a week before the CD officially came out, I immediately fell in love with it. And each time I have listened to the album since then, I get a little something more out of it. Chris told Country Weekly that, "Nothing good happens after midnight," and I think this album really reflects that. It doesn't have much to do with how parties can get a bit out of a hand, but mainly those heavy subjects we all deal with at one point or another--forgiveness, sleepless nights, making a big decision based on how you feel at that moment, etc.


Hold You To It  Reminds me of "Lost" from the last CD, Neon. It's one of those adorable romantic songs that you're into and love singing along to when you first start dating that special someone. You can't help but sway back and forth to the easy beats and the inflections in Chris' voice. Perfect as we transition from summer into fall weather, too, to make you feel like it's warm all year round.

Baby, do you feel that bass line pumpin'
Tell me, can you hear that kick drum thumpin' on the 2 and 4
Let's get on that floor
Love to hear the slide of the guitar ringin'
Melody's sayin' everything I'm thinking
And I'm startin' to think you think it too
I Love the way you're movin'
Feel the backbeat groovin' 
I'm gonna hold you to it


Lonely Eyes is the perfect classic country track! It's the promise of a guy to that girl he's crushing on, letting her know that he's in it for the long haul and could possibly be what she has been looking for. Chris also really stretches his vocals and hits high notes that he hasn't before. Boy has some pipes and should show those off more!

Lonely eyes,
Well, it sure looks like
You just might,
Be looking for something, 
For something, whoa!
Look at me, and I think you'll see
Those lonely eyes,
Don't have to be alone tonight


Goodbye Again, we get to hear his vocal range on this powerful ballad in a "Tomorrow" (like) way. It's a beautiful song of how the guy is going to fight for this relationship, because you don't just throw in the towel when things get a little rocky or something makes you want to change your mind. You work it out together and you stick out the storms. I love the way he runs some of the phrasing together for emphasis, as he starts to realize she wants out. As the 2nd verse starts up, he's naming off all of the reasons why they should stay together, and by the end of the song, the change in his voice is almost pleading and begging for her to stay. I'm crossing my fingers that this would be the next single. It would definitely switch things up a bit from some of the other songs he's had out recently.

Knock on my door,
You're on my porch,
It's about 11:30,
That only means 
One of two things
Either you're a little bit lonely
Or somethin' ain't right
And judgin' by
The tear in your eye,
You're about to say something crazy,
Like goodbye...

Stop right there
Don't say a word,
Just let me hold you
Girl, we can fix
Whatever it is 
So, whatever you do
Don't let us die
The love of a lifetime 
Is worth at least a million tries
Baby, what we've got 
Is too good for goodbye


A.M. Another bit of a roughed up party song, but doesn't have to be taken that way. I like to think of it as just a great weekend song, looking forward to cutting loose a little more than during the week and not having a care. It resembles the flavor of Aw Naw, with a catchy melody and is easy to sing along and rock out to.

Cause in the A.M, 
They go from gettin' buzzed into wasted 
Might not remember what they're sayin' 
Radio turned up and playin' loud a honky tonk station 
Spendin' what ya spent the week makin' 
Ask a little hottie what her name is 
The whole world's a-sleepin 
We're wide awake in the A.M. 


Nothin' But The Cooler Left To tell you the truth, I didn't want to like this one, based on the title of the song, because I'm not too big on drinking songs. But, as I listened to this one, it was hard not to get into it. I could picture myself out on a boat, just hanging out with friends and family, without a care in the world. It reminds me of something Clay Walker might've released back in the day with a bit of a Caribbean flare in there.

Oh yeah, 
Everybody grab a cold beer,
Pop it open, raise it up in the air,
Bump cans with your neighbor, yeah,
Here's to good ole boys and country girls everywhere,
Livin' loud, rocking out to the sound of our favorite songs,
y'all sing along, 
This night ain't over yet,
We're gonna stay right here, 
Til' there's nothin' but the cooler left


Who I Am With You You would never know that Chris is single, judging by all of the incredible love songs he puts out that makes it sounds like he's in a pretty committed relationship, and this is one is no different. It starts off like a sweet ballad, but starts rocking towards the chorus, singing of how he finally got it right and has everything now that he has the right one to share it with. His vocals really soar on this one and take him to new heights. I think it's the kind of love we all desire someday...I kind of want to play it at my wedding in the future!

Who I am with you,
Is who I really want to be,
You're so good for me,
And when I'm holding you,
It feels like I've got the world in my hands, 
Yeah, a better man,
Is who I am with you


Text Me Texas There's a different kind of vibe in the intro, with just the simple sound of a guitar, with a couple beats in the background. The guy is asking for an explanation as to why she won't answer any of his text messages, just wanting to hear what's on from her end, because his heart is all over the place. Has that romantic, pining melody to it, and Chris' voice really makes you feel the longing/loneliness he's going through.

Text me, Texas,
Before you turn off your phone,
I'm a wreck and I'm restless
Got a feelin' that you're not alone,
It's breakin' my heart, and I'm starting to get the message,
C'mon and text me,Texas


We're Gonna Find It Tonight I can see this is as a great show opener as Chris runs out on stage! It's wild and fun, and sort of seems to set the tone for what the rest of the night will be like. Definitely one that would be fun to rock out to live! One of those songs that just lets you forget about the work week and allows you to have fun with your friends.

Whatever gets you moving
Gets you grooving
Gets you fired up
We're gonna get it
If you really want it bad enough
Yeah, we're gonna chase it
Get all crazy
Gonna lose our minds
Whatever's gonna get you feeling right
Girl, we're gonna find it tonight


Forgiveness Starts off with a pretty country twang, sounds a lot like someone is sitting on the front porch with a banjo. At least that's what I picture anyway. It's almost as if it's like a battle cry. Obviously, the title of the song is pretty self-explanatory. It's so relatable to so many people, whether it's in a romantic relationship or with a relative or a friend...You try to look for it in so many places, in order to heal, but in the end, it just has to come from the person that we hurt or weren't there for when we should have been. You can hear in his voice, what a complex situation

It ain't hidin' in no bottle on the shelf,
Or lying in the bed of someone else,
I can't feel it on some Sunday morning pew,
And one sleepless night, it dawned on me,
The piece I need so desperately,
Is buried in the one place I can't get to,
Girl, it's gotta come from you

Lighters In The Air To me, it makes a great summer theme song, like "Boys of Summer," or even "Summer of '69," as he relives all of the incredible moments that just made time stand still. As I drove by the fair with my parents the other night, listening to this song, I couldn't help but feel the same way. I looked back on this past summer with a great peace, knowing those memories will live on forever, even if just in my heart. But, at least they happened, and I'll always be able to look back and smile. That's what this song is all about. Raising your glass and making a toast to the moments that make life worthwhile.

Guitars on the Gulf breeze
Smoke rings 'round the neon
Moonlight in your blue eyes
'Neath that Georgia hat you had on
Just one night to hold you
No, that ain't what I call fair
But, the memories burn in my mind, 
Like those lighters in the air


If ever there was a CD to swoon over, this would be it. Chris continues to grow as an artist, which his fans already knew about him and have loved from the beginning. But, I think this is one that the industry will start to see as well. He already gets a ton of airplay, so maybe now, he'll start getting the recognition that he deserves from the awards, even though that's not what it's about for him.
As any Chris Young fan knows, his biggest idol was the late Keith Whitley, and I think Keith would be pretty proud of this album if he were still here. You can definitely hear and see where he pulled a lot of his songwriting inspiration from over the years.

(this is just a little bonus)
So, if you haven't picked up this album yet...Go do yourself a favor and get it! It's amazing!

Fave Tracks:
  • Hold You To It
  • Lonely Eyes
  • Goodbye
  • Text Me Texas
That's all for now,
Shelby :)

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