Chris Young, Losing Sleep | Album Review
Among country music’s most consistent artists, Chris Young continues to make well-rounded, quality music on his sixth studio album, ‘Losing Sleep.’
It’s hard to believe that Chris Young has been around since 2006. The 32-year old, to date, has released six studio albums, as well as a Christmas album. 11 years into a career, that’s quite prolific as well as being a notable accomplished. Furthermore, his consistency during his career is just as noteworthy. He’s back with his highly-anticipated sixth studio album, Losing Sleep. Expectedly, this brief affair is another welcome addition to his discography.
On “Losing Sleep,” Chris Young showcases his sexy side. The record incorporates tasteful pop cues, but doesn’t turn its back on the country idiom. The romantic vibe shines on verses, which are cool and poised. The lyrics match the sensual, pop-oriented sound. Young’s voice is stunning, sporting the rare rich baritone. A big, energetic chorus, firmly planted in country music, is a welcome contrast to the more restrained verses. Here, the anthemic sound of contemporary country returns with its full-fledged glory.
Follow-up “Hangin’ On” is a mid-tempo, soundly produced joint. It’s not overproduced or overthought – relatively even keel to say the least. The guitars have just the right amount of bite, and Young never has to fight with his backdrop – he’s always in command. Vocally, he sounds as polished as ever, never over-singing, giving a balanced, satisfying performance. Lyrically, the verses are respectable and well-rounded, while the chorus shines.
“Holiday” commences with a soulful, country groove. It feels warm and inviting from the jump, exhibiting throwback vibes. As always, Young nails the vocal performance. He showcases poise, but also adds ample flavor with twang and nuance. The production is balanced, neither under- nor over-produced. Throughout the course of “Holiday,” the instrumental touches – guitar, pedal steel, etc. – are thoughtful. The chorus is catchy and well-sung. Young doesn’t integrate anything ‘brand-new’ per se, but all in all, “Holiday” is pleasant; well-rounded.
“Radio and the Rain” follows a formidable trio of hits in “Losing Sleep,” “Hangin’ On,” and “Holiday.” Nonetheless, “Radio and the Rain” ends up being sound without a doubt. This is country music through and through, making no concessions to pop. Here, he ‘shores up his base.’
“Where I Go When I Drink”
Ballad “Where I Go When I Drink” trumps “Radio and the Rain,” ranking among the crème de la crème of Losing Sleep. It commences simply with piano accompaniment. Young showcases the sheer radiance of his baritone, with excellent vocal production further accentuating his instrument. Impressively, he never pushes his voice, singings easily, yet effectively. Also, worth noting, is the melody of this song, particularly the chorus, which is lovely. There’s a welcome change of pace on the bridge, that’s contextual; it maintains the balanced and brief nature of Losing Sleep.
Wisely, “She’s Got a Way” accelerates the tempo, following the balladry of “Where I Go When I Drink.” Straightforward, soundness is the name of the game. Clearly, love is on the mind of Mr. Young. Follow-up “Leave Me Wanting More” continues the romantic vibes, though more like the opener, “Losing Sleep.” The pace is slackened somewhat, but not to the degree of say, “Where I Got When I Drink.” Like many of the songs from Losing Sleep, the chorus is more robust and energetic than the verses.
“Trouble Looking” continues the consistency of Young and Losing Sleep. It’s not flashy – it won’t pop out at you – but enjoyable, well-sung, and well-rounded. The same could be said of penultimate number “Woke Up Like This.” Its consistent without being groundbreaking or transcendent. Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with it. Closer “Blacked Out” is thoughtful and highly countrified. Here, Young truly pushes the twang, and it’s perfectly suited for this record. “Blacked Out” is arguably the crowning of achievement of the concluding trio of songs.
All in all, Losing Sleep is another fine album from Chris Young. As iterated throughout, he’s not a flashy guy, but he has a lot to offer. At 30 minutes, He keeps it short and sweet on Losing Sleep, and it pays off. Sometimes he’s bit safe, but even so, there’s very little to hold against him or this album in general. Another success.
Gems: “Losing Sleep,” “Hangin’ On,” “Holiday,” “Where I Go When I Drink” & “She’s Got a Way”