Courtesy of Big Machine Records

February 18, 2019

TEST SPIN | Florida Georgia Line — ‘Can’t Say I Ain’t Country’

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Florida Georgia Line, the Nashville band known for their hit “Cruise,” is still crushing it. The country duo, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, released their album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country on Friday.

The album, which contains 19 tracks, has a bouncin’ vibe and traditional country twang. I listened to the album on a long weekend road trip on the way back to Ithaca, and the tunes were perfect to keep the energy up over the five-hour journey.

First off, I found the smooth lyrics in the song “Women,” which features Jason Derulo, cute and heartfelt. “Women” is an ode to feminine beauty and essence that just makes me say “awww.” The passion, yet seriousness of the song can’t help but put a smile on my face as I embrace the juxtaposition of Derulo’s silky voice with the affectionate “bro-country” style of Florida Georgia Line.

“Simple,” has a sweet folksy rhythm. It’s an honest and catchy love song about appreciating a romance without sharing it on Instagram or complicating life. The lyrics match the song title, as the duo sings, “it’s like one, two, three, just as easy as can be” — the track just puts me at ease.

“Talk You Out of It,” another romantic tune, follows “Simple.” The song is about trying to convince a girl to stay in rather than go out and party downtown. It’s like a mellow version of “House Party” by Sam Montevallo. Such songs take me back to the country dance halls in Dallas where I was raised.

The song “People are Different” shares a good-hearted message similar to Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind.” Lyrics like “love thy neighbor” and “slip on a pair of another man’s shoes” are a biblical message and idiom respectively that work to promote empathy. This is the kind of country you’d wanna raise your kids on — the themes of morality and open-mindedness in “People are Different” is comforting in this period, especially the wake of the border discussion and toxic political climate kindled during the Trumpian era.

Some of the songs on the album, however, such as “Like You Never Had It” are a bit too repetitive for my taste. Also, the choruses for most of the album seem to barge in too soon, before I’ve been able to fully immerse myself in the groove of the song.

Since I find it fruitful to relate each song to another country song I’ve heard before, I conclude that the album isn’t the most innovative nor mind-blowing I have heard. The songs are catchy and interesting, but nothing worthy of a long-term hit. Then again, you never know.

I do like that Jason Derulo and Jason Aldean were both featured. Their addition added some pop flare that complemented Florida Georgia Line’s personal style. A timely post-Valentine’s Day album, Can’t Say I Ain’t Country shares the spirit of love with songs expressing gratitude towards women, friendships and the simple life — but don’t expect it to knock your socks off.

 

Ariadna Lubinus is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can reached at aml386@cornell.edu.