Stoney Creek Records recording artist Randy Houser just released his first album in three years, and it is so worth every second of that wait. Produced by Derek George, Fired Up contains 17 tracks, in which Houser co-wrote five of them – “Chasing Down a Good Time,” “Senior Year,” “Lucky Me,” “True,” and “Before Midnight.”
The tone of Fired Up is laid back and nostalgic. You won’t discover sleazy lyrics or exhausted cliches on this album, as it’s a mature storyteller song collection with a theme that chronicles all the different stages of love. To those who are skeptical of today’s country radio artists ensuing the pop/country crossover trend, Houser will allure them to believe in country music again.
Appropriate, flirty, fast-moving jam, “Back,” followed by Houser’s most recent No. 1 single, “We Went” kick off the first two tracks of Fired Up. It doesn’t slow down a notch until the first verse of “Chasing Down a Good Time,” which is about sharing the simple things in life with someone special.
Initially, two songs stuck out the most to me, “Song Number Seven,” an expertly blended combination of skill and chemistry both musically and lyrically, from the echo of the title in the chorus to the contagious, love spelled lyrics of the verses. Written by hitmakers Chris Stapleton, Justin Wilson, and Ben Hayslip, I forecast hit single potential here. I might have caught the Stapleton bug because the second song that popped out for me was the bonus track, “One Way,” a heartbreak ballad that showcases Houser’s powerhouse vocals, written by Stapleton and Lee Miller.
Judging by the title, “Hot Beer and Cold Women” intrigued me in an eyebrow half-raised kind of way. I discovered that it’s a ballad which brings a deepened perspective to Fired Up through talking oneself out of a downward spiral. Preceding that idea is the cleverly written breakup song referencing drowning your sorrows in the “Whiskeysippi River,” written by Josh Jenkins, Matt Jenkins, and Trevor Rosen (of Old Dominion).
With enticing cuts from hit songwriters on every track, sprinkled with meaningful songs that Houser penned himself, it is no surprise that Fired Up is a multitude of musical brilliance that begs to be your party playlist or your back road soundtrack.
Pick up Randy Houser’s Fired Up on iTunes.