Chris Young…and getting the MoJo Back…I Hope…

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Little bit ago I was doing a pre-delivery inspection on a pick-up truck; setting up the radio pre-sets when a song came on. Baritone vocal; reminiscent of Randy Travis but wasn’t. The song was “I’m Comin’ Over’ by Chris Young. It actually got me to stop what I was doing and listen.

I know what you’re thinking…So What?

I work flat rate; so the faster I work, the more work I get done and the more I get paid (this system works when there is lots of work and blows moose balls when there isn’t).

So for a song to make me actually stop dead and listen means it’s a pretty damn good song.

I digress…

I had to scan my memory bank if I had heard of him…

Riiiiight…2013…right after the floods here; he’d opened for Brad Paisley (I came back to my hometown to see them).

I think I had ‘Aw Naw’ somewhere on my mp3 player after hearing it on the radio while I was living three steps from Hell’s Ass…err…while I was living somewhere in S. AB.

A day later; another truck…same song comes on…made me stop again…

So I decided to download it…what the hell right?

I dithered about downloading the whole album (I’m Comin’ Over – iTunes); but ultimately downloaded the whole thing…crossing my fingers it wasn’t one more album with one great track…and only one great track (I own too damn many albums with that one great track and the rest leaving me flat…).

Played it from the first track to the last track…and there wasn’t one bad track…not one.

Not one bad song in 11 tracks; even the duet – with someone I had never heard of – was good.

It got me curious as I couldn’t say that about any of the other artists I listen too…including the late great Keith Whitley.

So I went to the back catalogue, starting with the album before this one…A.M.

Ahh…right…that’s where ‘Aw Naw’ came from…that is a party song…with somewhat crunchy guitar riffs. I love crunchy guitar riffs.

Someone called it a Bro-Country song…I don’t see it, but to each their own?

Decided to take a chance and download the whole album…I knew I had a 50/50 chance of good tracks and shit tracks…

11 tracks on this Album…and not one bad track… (And I’m asking myself why I didn’t buy the damn thing when it was first released…? Oh right…unemployed…).

Alright…so…I went back one more…which brings us to Neon…

We’re batting two for two…so downloaded the whole shooting match…

‘Tomorrow’ is found on here…I remember this one from the radio…and listening to it again I also remember it making me cry….it’s why I didn’t download it in the past…

Listened from First Track to Last…not one bad track…Three for three…

Back one more…and it’s an EP…WTF?

Didn’t think EP’s were a thing anymore…shows you what I know about that…

Price was right…so why not?

Annnnnnd they’re covers…well two are for sure…the third was a new one to me. While the songs were indeed covers he did do justice to them.

Ok – so back one more…The Man I Want To Be…

Which has ‘Gettin’ You Home’

I remembered this one…I remembered the video…the cute guy in the hat that sang to a bathroom door with his whole heart…you know the girl on the other side…probably wasn’t actually on the other side of that door…sound stages are funny that way…

10 tracks…and we’re batting four for four…not a bad track to be had…

Now I say not a bad track…doesn’t mean they were all great ones on this one. I would say that some of the tracks are highly indicative of his age when he did this album. Twenty-One Candles is a prime example of that…catchy beat but I sure as hell hope he doesn’t sing it now…or ever… because at this point it would be creepy as fuck.

Since I had these ones I decided why not…and downloaded his debut album…in for a penny right?

Self-Titled Debut…Chris Young…

11 tracks…not one over 4 minutes so it’s a fast listen…I put it on as I was clearing a Stock Unit (those take me somewhere between 30 to 50 minutes start to finish).

Not a bad album…listenable…but it’s clearly an out of the starting gate album.

He sings with conviction, that and his voice elevates the material. They’re still cringe-worthy but they don’t suck shit. I will say the song Drinkin’ Me Lonely is worth a listen just for the falsetto…hard to do on a baritone voice…and I suspect its one of the first songs he had written.  I also downloaded this one purely to support my thoughts. See I have been dithering about this piece for the last week; and if I was going to say with any conviction of my own that he doesn’t have a bad song I wanted to make damn sure I wasn’t talking out of my ass. Nothing like taking a stance of knowing what you are talking about and then finding out later it is not the case. I’ll eat my gaffs as required but I don’t enjoy it.

The most important thing to look at is that you can see the progression of Mr. Young as not only a singer but as a songwriter as well. While the early album may not be a stellar entry; I have no doubt it has provided a brilliant learning experience; for we not only learn from our successes we also learn from our near misses (I don’t like the word Failure…it is not a word I like to keep in my vocabulary…)

I deliberately didn’t go into track detail…I want you to discover how good this guy really is and the only way to do that is to listen for yourself. The great thing about a great singer…and the right song can make different people feel different things; it recognizes no boundaries.

I should warn you…

This guy sings Conway Twitty level love songs here…and there are a SHIT TON of them…

** Yes I know he was on a reality tv show…big fucking deal…so was Sawyer Brown…it was called Star Search…you remember Ed McMahon…he was good enough to win…and 10 years later he’s still here…that should say all there is to say about that…should you still use that as a reason not to give his music a listen…all I can say is Your Loss because this cat is good.

** Chris Young also gets this one credit no one else will ever have. He and his music got me off my ass and back to writing. It’s a small thing…and he’ll no doubt never know…but it’s there.