Chris Janson – Real Friends

Chris Janson - Real Friends



4.3/5 Pros

  • Powerful country album
  • Some great hits, the rest is very good

The superb live entertainer Chris Janson is back – though he feels like quite a young artist to me, he is already one of the big names in Nashville. Four years after his debut, Janson is releasing his third studio album, Real Friends. Here is a view on his new songs.

Chris Janson – About The Artist

Chris Janson was born in 1986 in Perryville, Missouri. At the age of 23, he signed his first record deal after he co-write two songs with Holly Williams on her album. He released his debut single Til a Woman Comes Along in 2011, which placed very reasonable in the US Country charts and US Country Airplays. However, his record company was restructured, Janson left the label and earned some merits as a songwriter. It took him until 2013, when two singles again placed in the US Country Airplays around the 50th spot. His absolute breakthrough, though, was his 2015 Buy Me a Boat, which first entered the Top 3 in US Country, Country Airplay and Canada Country charts and then boosted the equivalently-named album to a Top 4 spot as well. His second album, the 2017 Everybody, produced two Top 10 Airplays as well. Especially Drunk Girl received very good critics.


Chris Janson – Real Friends – Track by Track

The album contains 14 tracks, but is just 41 minutes long. Feels quite short? Nine of tracks are less than three minutes.

1. Good Vibes

Good Vibes has already been released ahead of the album as the first single of the album. I definitely feel that this is an example for good musical vibes and love it!


2. Check

Check is the first song I did not know in advance. A typical Chris Janson track. Speedy, powerful, cool to dance to – or just a lot of fun!

3. Done

Done is close to a ballad. However, when it is produced for Chris Janson, it is still quite an uptempo one.  Romantic dancing in boots? Just for the experienced ones!

4. Normal People

The fourth song is like a mantra on staying Normal People despite all external influences and all success. The song is one of the core tracks of the album to me.

5. Say About Me

Say About Me is the absolute contrast to Normal People. It is about life as a successful musician and what people think of you. The verses are nearly spoken, which gives the song a massive speed (for the sake of a lower touch of being a country song…)

6. Waitin’ on 5

Waitin’ On 5 comes with a quite classic country music song. Chris Janson still gives this tune a lot of tempo, so that it is a cool song to listen to.

7. Hawaii on Me

If Done was too quick for you, this is your chance to become romantic. A musical love letter to the very Western US islands – a good one!

8. Mine Does

Another musical love letter – this time to Janson’s wife Kelly Lynn. A song with a lot of speed. You can easily imagine how the gorgeous entertainer is setting the stage on fire with songs like that.

9. God’s Gotta Be a Good Ole Boy

Nice melody and hookline, but God’s Gotta Be a Good Ole Boy is one of the few weaker tracks of the album to me. I love the music, but I am not sure if the religious text is sometimes a bit of ironic.

10. Real Friends (feat. Blake Shelton)

For the title track of this album, Chris Janson is joined by nobody else but Blake Shelton. This track has so much power – just love to listen to it!

11. Everybody’s Going Through Something

Classic Chris Janson sound, but the second song, which does not catch me too much. Just feels a bit too easy to me.

12. Beer Me

After Power Of Positive Drinking, there is another beer / drink and party song by Chris Janson. The song seems to be a bit hidden in this part of the album, but it is definitely a nice one!

13. Country USA

A song for the US country people soul – reminded me a bit of Tracy Lawrence’s Made In America I recently reviewed.Luckily, I just have to stand that topic just for one song – in a quite enjoyable way!

14. Say About Me (feat. Offset)

There is a lot of rock – but also a good touch of rap. Georgian Offset is adding quite some rhythm to the song, especially between the plays of the chorus. Could be cool live on stage again. A bit more power than the original version on the album.


Chris Janson – Real Friends – Spotify

Spotify allows you to listen to the full album:


Chris Janson – Real Friends – My View

The bad news: I neither see a song like Buy Me A Boat nor a new Drunk Girl. The good news is: I don’t care. The indiviudal songs might not be a collection of overwhelming super-hits, but it is really good songwriting and good vibes on fourteen tracks in a very compact format. That’s just what it needs to call a Top Pick! about Country Music

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