After making his debut in the country music landscape in 2012 with his self-titled album, Dustin Lynch’s career has been on an upward trajectory. Marked by an unquestionable continuation of hit songs that are taking less and less time to gain traction on radio and more and more fans in ever growing live performances, it’s hard not to notice the man with the million dollar smile.
Originally praised for his traditional country style, including his signature cowboy hat and boots, Lynch’s sophomore release in 2014 proved he was willing to take some risks and add a little adventure in his career with a more r&b / pop infused production aptly titled Where It’s At. Fast forward two more years and it’s full steam ahead with highly successful current trends and a whole new side of Lynch’s personality that may leave you wondering where the traditional cowboy has gone.
Current Mood is a combination of songs centered around relationships, parties, and everything a single guy living the dream of being a country music star entails. It’s also involved one of the most creative track listing releases I’ve seen in years. For weeks leading up to the September 8th release date, Lynch was often sighted wearing plain black t-shirts during performances, each one bearing the name of a different song to be featured on the new album. If that isn’t a successful way to keep fans guessing and garner media attention for a successful launch, I don’t know what is. Here’s a run down of the tunes that’ll soon be blaring on open highways across North America.
I’d Be Jealous Too: Honestly, not my favorite track. I feel like some of the magic usually contained in Lynch’s vocals is kind of lost in this one. It has a catchy beat though if you can get over that little pet peeve.
Seein’ Red: This one’s already proven itself successful in radio and with adoring fans everywhere. It took me a while to warm up to this one when it was first put out but I do enjoy the slightly more rock vibe here.
Small Town Boy: The current radio hit. Even though it may not fit the sounds of traditional country, to me the lyrics still describe qualities and scenes that I connect with. I’m also from a small town so that may have something to do with it.
Why We Call Each Other: If I had to choose one word to describe this song it’d be ….smooth. It’s a slower beat, it’s catches and holds attention, and I know there’s more than one fan out there with a current or past relationship that they just can’t stay away from.
Here We Come: This one again borders on too much pop beat for my preferences. I’m predicting this one as the most likely successor to the highly successful single “Hell Of A Night” as Lynch’s opening number during the Ride Or Die Tour.
Love Me Or Leave Me Alone: By far one of my favorites on this album. I heard this song live and acoustic last fall and it left a lasting impression on me. The album version also features the incredibly talented Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town.
Back On It: Heavy on the r&b vibes with this one. Definitely, the sexiest song Lynch has ever released for a project so far. Despite the initial hesitations a lot of people are guaranteed to have, this song is the guilty pleasure track, powerful and hypnotic.
I Wish You Were Beer: Of course, there’s a light hearted, minimal substance drinking song to balance out all the relationship minded tracks. Predicted to be popular if given the chance during live shows where the beer is in abundance.
State Lines: Ah, the nostalgia song. I’ve taken a liking to this one. Lynch’s voice is clearer, the lyrics and slow beat are effective, and ultimately it’s relatable. State lines have interrupted possibilities in my life on more than one occasion.
Party Song: I don’t think there’s any more appropriate title for this one. If it had been released in May or June, it’d be guaranteed as a song of the summer. If I had to choose a track on this album that I’ll inevitably be singing along to at some point, it’d be this one.
New Girl: The first time I heard this track I immediately told a friend that it reminded me of the 90s boy band era. I think it’d be a hit for radio and it’s definitely going to be a hit with the ladies – who doesn’t want advice from a guy like this?
Why Not Tonight: To be completely honest, I had a hard time finding positive comments the first couple times I listened to this one. Similar to the opening track on the album, I’m not really a fan of Lynch’s voice on this track. Not a fan of the phrasing or lyrics either but I’m sure it’ll connect with fans who have different opinions than mine.
Sun Don’t Go Down On That: The one has an almost bluesy feel and makes me think of friends I have who live in western states, California in particular. I haven’t had a chance to travel that way myself yet, but the way they describe that lifestyle and my own imagination can fill in blanks well for this song.
Overall, I wasn’t expecting such a departure from the styles on Lynch’s previous albums and I can’t say I’m a fan of every song included in this project. After noticing a song about faith as the closing song on each of the previous albums, I’ll admit I was expecting that trend to continue but I suppose I’ll just have to be patient and wait for that season in Lynch’s life to return.
Personally, I’m a little nostalgic for the sweet southern man that only gave glimpses of the heart breaking attitude instead of putting it all out there for the world to see but I will always support an artist who is true to their own experiences. If these songs represent Lynch’s last three years of recording and touring, that’s all anyone can ask for. Some of these new songs could very well be what elevates his career from opening for the big stars to headlining those same arenas. This could be Dustin Lynch’s most commercially successful album to date.