So before you say it, I know this album was released in August so it isn’t really new music. However…it was released this year, I just booked a ticket to visit friends down south, and I haven’t reviewed a country record in a while. All of It has been in and out of my rotation since it was dropped. For those of you that don’t know, aside from loving rap, classic rock, and alternative, I love listening to country music. Cole Swindell has been a favorite of mine for a while now and this album only cements that.
One of my favorite aspects of Swindell as an artist is his lyricism, which is often more focused on everyday life. He isn’t talking about flying around on a jet or sitting on a beach all day. He is talking about simple things like coming home drunk, falling in love and breaking up, or driving down a favorite local road. It’s the simpler things in life and love that Swindell sings about, which he does very well. He has a very strong voice that has decent range but most importantly demonstrates emotions well. On the track “Dad’s Old Number,” his most personal on the album by far, Swindell talks about the struggles he has had following his father’s passing, including calling his dad’s phone number knowing that it won’t be him anymore.
“Sometimes I forget
These 10 digits ain’t my lifeline any more
Every now and then I dial ’em up
When life gets tough or when the Braves score”
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the band backing Swindell up on the record did a hell of a job. Often it seems that many of the mainstream country albums have a very similar sound and feel, however, the Georgia-born singer seems to have found the right combinations to fit his voice. The opening song, “Love You Too Late,” has a distinctly country rock sound but then quickly changes pace on the much slower title track that follows. Between electric and acoustic guitars, a solid accompanying bass and keys, plus some seriously fun drumming, Swindell’s band pleases the ears throughout. Not to mention, adding a very “pop country” vibe to “20 in a Chevy.”
While the team did a good job with spacing out songs, making sure there weren’t any lulls or back to back uptempo tracks, the production wasn’t anything special. The mixing was well done, but other than that, there isn’t much here you’d write home about. Just pretty standard production.
“Love You Too Late,” I’ll Be Your Small Town,” “20 in a Chevy,” and “Reason To Drink”
Cole Swindell did a really great job with his summer project, providing listeners with fun drinking tracks, emotional lyrics on others, and really solid work from his band. If there is an album to keep in your rotation for a while, it is this one. All of It gets a:
Nothing higher or lower, just a solid number for solid Swindell record. And don’t forget that “we all got a reason to drink!”