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Florida Georgia Line – Can’t say I ain’t Country (Review)

While I posted album reviews from time to time so far, there were two albums on 15th February 2019 I just wanted to look into it. I decided for an early review of the German metal project Avantasia and their album Moonglow. But on the same day, country music giants Florida Georgia Line released their “Can’t say I ain’t Country”.

About Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line (FGL) is the band of Tyler Hubbard und Brian Kelley. The band has been formed in 2010. The band had their breakthrough with Cruise, which topped the Billboard Charts in 2012 and is still one of their most successful songs ever.

The band was very successful working with other bands. Thereby, they partnered or were partnered by various acts, from country top acts like Luke Bryan to the Backstreet Boys.

An incredible success of the band was Meant to be with Bebe Rexha, which at the time of writing had more than 700 million views on Youtube. Flyctory.com featured that this song in one of my country music picks in June 2018, it topped the Billboard Country Music charts for 50 weeks, which is a new record. It is still in the Top of the Country Billboards.

Especially that song formed some controversy whether FGL is really a country band. You may find strong elements of other genres in your music. Can’t say I ain’t country is thus the musical answer to these discussions.

Can’t say I ain’t Country – Track by Track

19 tracks feel quite massive for a single-disc album. Four tracks are so called “Skits”, which are all like short phone calls spoken by Brother Jervel. I thought these ones are rather disturbing when you listen to the album. I also excluded them from the track by track review. The total length of the album is 50 minutes.

2. Can’t Say I Ain’t Country

You can say I’m a redneck
You can say you don’t like my truck
You can say that I talk and I dress all funny
But you, you can’t say I ain’t country

This song is setting the scene for the whole album – and it is just too characteristic for the whole long player: a radio-format well produced no-reason-to-discuss-whether-this-is-country-music song. Just a very, very good one!

3. Simple

Simple was one of the first singles of this album – and it is another song, which quickly catches you. I like the album more than the videos more as I feel the chats in the video are somehow disturbing. Nevertheless, here is the music video version of the great track.

4. Talk You Out Of It

Talk you out of it is a lovely country ballad. Love to sway to it and like the second part of the chorus:

And now you’re lookin’ like a line from a Vandross song
I’m looking at that fine little dress you got on
Don’t get me wrong, girl, I love it
Now I just wanna talk you out of it

6. Speed Of Love

Before speed of love, there is a skit about NASCAR racing. The song is a great honky-tonk one, powerful and speedy country music made to dance. One of my favorites on the album, though this song has many classic country elements, which typically don’t touch me that much.

7. Women

Speed down, ballad time. Women, sung together with Jason Derulo, is another song for the romantic moments for country addicts. A good one, definitely – though I wouldn’t rate it a top track of the album.

8. People Are Different

Can’t walk down a street and smile at a stranger
Heart on your sleeve and love thy neighbor
No matter what shape, no matter what color
Break bread instead of fighting each other
Slip on a pair of another man’s shoes
You’ll see by the time you get back
This old world would be a whole lot better place
If we’d all just embrace the fact
That people are different
People are different

Very often, country music tends sung by male artists tends to talk about cars, girls and alcohol – the more I appreciate this wonderful song about tolerance. Might not be the best track of Can’t say I ain’t country, but important lyrics. Worth listening! I also like the lyric music video of that song:

9. Told You

This is a track for the loving ones again – of course, there is girls and love on this FGL album as well. The first two lines of the chorus are “Girl, I told you // That I’d love you forever”. Nice track, which is also great just to listen to.

11. Y’all Boys

This song is another example of nicely produced modern country music with classic elements. To me, it was not as memorable as other songs on the album. Definitely not a great one, but also not a bad one.

12. Small Town

A very similar topic dealing with all the stuff you may do when you come from a small countryside town. I like it, another song, which you would love to hear when you driving though the US countryside. Nice chorus!

I bet you been sittin’ on a John Deere tractor
Bet you been fishin’ with an old cane pole
Been cow-tippin’ in a big green pasture
Burned up a clutch on a red dirt road
[…]
You might be from a small town

13. Sittin’ Pretty

A very nice one from my point of you – and a nice music video released to it as well. We are back to the girls and love topic, by the way. Very modern sound, not too many classic country music elements in this one.

 

15. Can’t Hide Red

For this track, Florida Georgia Line partnered with Jason Aldean. This leads to a lot of power to that track, which I absolutely liked. FGL posted a video about the story behind the song, felt it might be worth looking into.

16. Colorado

This time, the album deals about unlucky love – and alcohol. A very nice track, which has quite some rock elements as well. Need some verses to proof?

Since you said you didn’t love me
Since you hung me out to dry
I’ve been drunk up in the Smokies
On a Rocky Mountain high

Nevertheless, I like the song – just well produced, catching, also nice radio format.

17. Like You Never Had It

Quite a couple of songs on this album are less than three minutes – here is one of them. Thus, there is just so few verses and a high concentration on the chorus. Nice song and great format to listen to… But no chance to convince with great lyrics!

18. Swerve

Another song which illustrates this simplicity of some songs on this album. The first verse could also be a Vengaboys or other dance party pop song:

It ain’t the proof or the alcohol, nah
It’s got my back up against the wall
Staring at you, you, you
Watching you move, move, move, yeah

To me, this is the weakest track on the album – and maybe the only one which does not touch me at all.

19. Blessings

A nice ballad concludes the album after 19 tracks, 15 songs. Also some proper lyrics. Very, very good song, love the storytelling in it.

 

Can’t say I ain’t Country – My View

It is really hard to criticize “Can’t say I ain’t Country”. It is definitely a fantastically produced radio-pop country album, easy to listen to. It has some catchy songs, some even have some good lyrics. It is a music reply to all the critic on the band. The reason why I do not assign five stars to it is the simple fact that I feel it is a bit too demonstrative, a bit too much. Yeah, FGL, you proved you are country guys now… But you are also very valuable when you mix with other genres. That is also very valuable for the business. I feel you gave up a bit too much FGL identity to be country – you don’t need to do so. You are country anyway!

 

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Album cover / banner: Artist material

Summary
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Florida Georgia Line - Can't say I ain't Country
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