My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Tag Archives: Corey Crowder

Album Review: Chris Young – ‘I’m Comin’ Over’

im comin overThere are artists in today’s country whose music I unequivocally loathe. But in most cases, they’re people I didn’t have any particular expectations for. It’s much more painful to listen to a bad record put out by someone you know is capable of so much better – rather like the difference between a bad first date, and the betrayal of finding your spouse of many years is cheating on you. Sadly, that’s how I felt about Chris Young after his last album saw him shifting to the dark side of loud, unsubtle bro-country. Although his first few albums didn’t have consistently strong enough material, his excellent voice and traditional leanings meant I had great hopes for him. I was cautiously encouraged by his latest single, the title track to his new album, which Young produced, and mostly co-wrote, with Carey Crowder. (Link to review). Unfortunately, this song is not wholly representative of an album which is a real mixed bag, but there is a reasonable amount of worthwhile music.

One of the best songs is the one cut which neither Young nor Crowder had a hand in: ‘I Know A Guy’, written by Benjy Davis and Brett Tyler. It opens compellingly, with the protagonist offering assistance to a woman in trouble, before he launches into an impassioned chorus revealing himself as the man being left, and desperate for one last chance. The slow, measured verses work better than the chorus, which is rattled out and lacks melody, but overall this is a strong track.

Young teamed up with the songwriting brothers Brad and Brett Warren to write the excellent ‘Sober Saturday Night’, which features Vince Gill’s harmony and electric guitar. A somber ballad about the misery of a Sunday morning without his ex, which hurts worse than any hangover in times past. This is perhaps the best song on the album.

The last of the songs really worth hearing on this album is ‘What If I Stay’, written by Young with Josh Hoge and Johnny Bulford, a seductive ballad right in Young’s wheelhouse.

‘Callin’ My Name’, written by Young with Crowder and Jonathan Singleton, isn’t bad, either, with a pleasant melody, although it’s a bit fillerish. ‘You Do The Talkin’’, written by Crowder with Liz Rose and Cary Barlowe, is also okay but a bit bland. ‘Alone Tonight’, one of the many songs on the album written by the writing collaboration of Young, Hoge and Crowder, isn’t a bad song, but the insensitive echoey production kills it. ‘Sunshine Overtime’ is an inoffensive beach song.

On the negative side of the balance, the trio’s ‘Heartbeat’ and the football-themed ‘Underdogs’ are horrible – repetitive, monotonous and overly processed. ‘Think Of You’ is a deathly dull and characterless duet with Cassadee Pope, a mediocre pop singer currently masquerading as a country artist following her run on The Voice.

I get the impression that Chris Young is trying to balance the demands of commercial success with songs of more substance and quality, but he hasn’t quite got that balance right here. ( I also have to say that the cover picture is not very flattering, and is calling out for a Farce The Music treatment.)

Grade: B

Single Review: Chris Young – ‘I’m Comin’ Over’

i'm comin' overI was very disappointed with Chris Young’s last album as, with the exception of a couple of tracks, the demands of commercial relevance seemed to have pushed out artistic considerations. I am encouraged to find his new single is a return to something significantly better (if not his very best work).

It is a nice sounding tune with an attractive melody, and the production is tastefully understated. It’s not super-traditional, but there is audible steel guitar and the instrumentation generally serves as backdrop to the vocal.

Young’s warm, inviting vocal is always appealing, and he is convincing selling this tale of love that just won’t die even though it doesn’t quite work as a relationship. They may have broken up, but when she calls late at night he rushes over to her place.

In some ways reminiscent of Lady Antebellum’s monster hit ‘Need You Now’, both melodically and lyrically, it lacks the latter’s undercurrent of regret or sense that it is a one-time only deal born out of desperation and loneliness. This one is a pattern which doesn’t look like ending any time soon, and Chris doesn’t sound at all sorry about it. Nor is there any alcohol involved – just as well when he’s driving to see his lover. Maybe the untold story is that it is the girl who is ambivalent about the relationship, as he asks her, or himself, the rhetorical question,

Why put out a fire when it’s still burnin’?

He wrote the song himself along with Corey Crowder (who also produced) and Josh Hoge, and it is neatly constructed and believable. We could do with a lot more like this on country radio and I hope it does well for Chris.

Grade: B+