Releasing his third studio album – if you include his Christmas effort, “It Must Be Christmas” – in under two years and a run of three No.1s on the US Country Airplay charts off his much lauded “I’m Coming Over” album, Grand Ole Opry’s recently inducted newest and youngest member, Chris Young’s latest offering “Losing Sleep” has been much anticipated by many of his fans, especially in light of the Grammy nominated “Think of You” with Cassadee Pope and the critically acclaimed duet with Vince Gill on “Sober Saturday Night”.
Whilst his loyal fans have devotedly encouraged the voting of airplay for the title track “Losing Sleep”, released earlier in May this year, reviews have been lukewarm, with comparisons even made with Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”. The track in itself is not a bad song, and after a few listens it becomes a bit of an earworm in the pleasing sense. It’s just not an instant catch ya kind of song that makes you immediately want to hear the full album like “Aw Naw” did for “A.M.”; it’s more of a chilled laid back, slow burning grower kind of song.
In fact ‘chilled, laid back, slow burning’ is probably the best way to describe the whole album. Whilst we know Young’s baritone vocals is pure country as soon as he starts singing, the tempo of the title track and teaser track “Hanging On” which was released via Spotify have had some of the traditionalists bemoaning that he’s sold out, and there may well be more giving their tuppence’s worth once they hear “She’s Got a Way” and “Trouble Looking”.
Unapologetically, Chris Young is continuing his musical evolving journey that he somewhat tentatively started out on back on “A.M” before moving full speed ahead with it on “I’m Coming Over” and he’s continuing that path here. Personally, this isn’t a bad thing, everything has to change and evolve over time and music is no different to any other creative trend.
Once again Young has teamed up with Josh Hoge and Corey Crowder, and for the first time, he has co-writing credits on all the album tracks with noticeable collaborations with song writing powerhouses such as Jon Randall and Liz Rose. Young also stepped into the co-producer role for this project, something he is no stranger to.
“Each song has a unique vibe and feel to it” states Young in the accompanying press notes, and it is pretty noticeable on “Holiday” with its steel guitar, Hawaiian vibe. Talking of “Holiday”, one wonders whether Young’s recent UK visits and growing UK fan base has got him thinking on word play for song titles, we all know the Americans call ‘holiday’ ‘vacation’.
Despite his desire for experimentation, Young hasn’t alienated his more traditionalist fans by balancing the album out very well with the heartfelt “Blacked Out” and “Where I Go To Drink”. Both of which can only be described as classic country storytelling, heightened by Young’s classic country vocals, whilst “Leave Me Wanting More” and “Radio and the Rain” will please those fans of his who love him for his romantic ballads.
Is this album as strong as some of his previous albums? Personally, I don’t think so. Having said that, try asking me this same question six months’ down the line from now, when the tunes have had a chance to grow on me and I’ll probably be proved wrong. Like I said this is a ‘chilled, laid back, slow burning’ kind of an album which definitely grows on you, the more you listen to it.
- Losing Sleep
- Hangin’ On
- Radio and the Rain
- Where I Go When I Drink
- She’s Got a Way
- Leave Me Wanting More
- Trouble Looking
- Woke Up Like This
- Blacked Out
To coincide with the release of “Losing Sleep”, Chris Young has also announced his own headlining tour starting in 2018 with dates in North America, hopefully this is an indication that his UK fans will be seeing him soon, seeing as he’s named it “Losing Sleep World Tour”!