Chris Young’s sophmore album brings a different breed of country

Jimmy Laurent
September 23, 2009
Filed under Reviews

Fans have been waiting nearly three years for Chris Young’s second album to drop.

The season-four winner of the now debunked competition “Nashville Star,” which is very similar to “American Idol,” released his second album, “The Man I Want To Be,” on Sept. 1. The album is turning out to be anything but a sophomore slump.

I purchased this album for $7.99 on iTunes. Even though there are only ten tracks, one fewer than his debut album, I was not disappointed. This great of a talent at that price is almost a steal.

Young’s rich baritone voice brings a classic country sound to each of his songs.

The production of James Stroud is as clean as it gets. Songs such as his first single from this album, “Voices,” which was co-written by Young, not only showcases his talent as a vocalist but paints a portrait of the artist’s character.

“Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” is currently blowing up country radio. It is not your traditional country love song. It’s sexy, sultry and seductive, while still having the class of your run-of-the-mill country tune. Most country music is known for its basic melodies and predictable hooks, but the young 24-year-old is bringing his classic sound to a new wave of country music.

He isn’t your typical contemporary country artist, either. He is true to the country sound, yet appeals to the youth, especially with songs like “Twenty One Candles,” which tells the tale of a wild girl ready to party her way through life.

While his exponentially growing fan base is partly thanks to his complete dominance on the USA show “Nashville Star,” where much of America got to see his talent, this album should place him among country’s elite artists.

The legendary Willie Nelson contributes to Young’s spin on Waylon Jennings’ classic “Rose in Paradise.” This track is perfect in so many ways. The warm baritone of Young and the classic twang of Nelson match perfectly in this beautiful written song.

Young touches on a couple of more serious notes with songs like “The Dashboard,” which tells the story of a man and his truck. In the story (which is such a great element of country music: great stories) the man is going off to war and gives his old, worn-down but sentimental truck to a young man. The hook of the song is the man returning from war to a newly fixed up vehicle with one part left untouched: the dashboard (the value of the dashboard to the man is explained in the chorus of the song). This is probably the most beautifully written song on the album. My appreciation goes out to songwriter Monty Criswell for sharing such a beautiful story with country music lovers.

“It Takes a Man” touches on an issue that many young people have to deal with in unplanned pregnancies. The end of the chorus tells it all: “Any fool can make a baby, but it takes a man to raise a child.”

Most country artists nowadays seem to fall into the same mold of “born in the country-sweet home Alabama-six-pack of beer” guys. While Young is plenty of a good old country boy, born and raised in Murfreesboro, Tenn., he possesses a certain trait that seems to appeal to more than the country type: versatility. He is the southern gentleman, the man’s man and the wise old soul. Whether it’s a ballad or a traditional country hoe down, Young delivers on this album.

Chris Young’s sophmore album brings a different breed of country

Jimmy Laurent
September 23, 2009
Filed under Reviews

Fans have been waiting nearly three years for Chris Young’s second album to drop.

The season-four winner of the now debunked competition “Nashville Star,” which is very similar to “American Idol,” released his second album, “The Man I Want To Be,” on Sept. 1. The album is turning out to be anything but a sophomore slump.

I purchased this album for $7.99 on iTunes. Even though there are only ten tracks, one fewer than his debut album, I was not disappointed. This great of a talent at that price is almost a steal.

Young’s rich baritone voice brings a classic country sound to each of his songs.

The production of James Stroud is as clean as it gets. Songs such as his first single from this album, “Voices,” which was co-written by Young, not only showcases his talent as a vocalist but paints a portrait of the artist’s character.

“Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” is currently blowing up country radio. It is not your traditional country love song. It’s sexy, sultry and seductive, while still having the class of your run-of-the-mill country tune. Most country music is known for its basic melodies and predictable hooks, but the young 24-year-old is bringing his classic sound to a new wave of country music.

He isn’t your typical contemporary country artist, either. He is true to the country sound, yet appeals to the youth, especially with songs like “Twenty One Candles,” which tells the tale of a wild girl ready to party her way through life.

While his exponentially growing fan base is partly thanks to his complete dominance on the USA show “Nashville Star,” where much of America got to see his talent, this album should place him among country’s elite artists.

The legendary Willie Nelson contributes to Young’s spin on Waylon Jennings’ classic “Rose in Paradise.” This track is perfect in so many ways. The warm baritone of Young and the classic twang of Nelson match perfectly in this beautiful written song.

Young touches on a couple of more serious notes with songs like “The Dashboard,” which tells the story of a man and his truck. In the story (which is such a great element of country music: great stories) the man is going off to war and gives his old, worn-down but sentimental truck to a young man. The hook of the song is the man returning from war to a newly fixed up vehicle with one part left untouched: the dashboard (the value of the dashboard to the man is explained in the chorus of the song). This is probably the most beautifully written song on the album. My appreciation goes out to songwriter Monty Criswell for sharing such a beautiful story with country music lovers.

“It Takes a Man” touches on an issue that many young people have to deal with in unplanned pregnancies. The end of the chorus tells it all: “Any fool can make a baby, but it takes a man to raise a child.”

Most country artists nowadays seem to fall into the same mold of “born in the country-sweet home Alabama-six-pack of beer” guys. While Young is plenty of a good old country boy, born and raised in Murfreesboro, Tenn., he possesses a certain trait that seems to appeal to more than the country type: versatility. He is the southern gentleman, the man’s man and the wise old soul. Whether it’s a ballad or a traditional country hoe down, Young delivers on this album.

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