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Florida Georgia Line “Here’s To the Good Times”: Album Review

Universal Republic Nashville (2012)

After a few weeks’ lull in new country releases (perhaps no one wanted to compete with Taylor Swift?), newcomer country duo Florida Georgia Line steps up to the plate with their debut full-length, Here’s To the Good Times.

If you’re a die-hard country fan, you’re probably already familiar with FGL, as they’ve been burning up the country charts with their single “Cruise.” You may recall that I profiled the duo just a few weeks ago as a “Country Act to Watch.” For a new act that up to this point has only released a couple of EPs, the national attention they’re getting is fairly significant; let’s just say a lot of people (and by people I mean ladies) were waiting eagerly for the release of this album.

I’m happy to say that listening to Here’s To the Good Times has not changed my opinion about this band; Florida Georgia Line are definitely heading to the top. I’m not even offended that this album is essentially an expansion of their EP It’z Just What We Do, or that every song off that EP appears on this full-length; the other six songs are just as solid as the original five.

With a sound that is decidedly country, mixed with just enough rock to make it “current”—coupled with a country-boy swagger that echoes the appeal of other up-and-comers like Luke Bryan and Eric Church—FGL (comprised of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard) offer their listeners a fantastic combination of musicality, great hooks, and smooth voices, with lyrics that express an unabashed admiration for the female of the species. Of course, there’s “Cruise,” with “When I first saw that bikini top on her / She’s poppin’ right out of the south Georgia water…You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise.” The sentiment continues on tunes like “Get Your Shine On” (“Strawberry shimmer on hot lips / Silver buckle hanging off her hips / Eyes sparkle when she smiles”—well, at least they’re looking at her face, too) and “Dayum, Baby.” Nuff said.

But that’s not all they sing about; when FGL isn’t engaged in lady-worship (and let’s face it—they really like girls), they’re basically singing songs about good times in general—hence, the title track, which is actually the closest this record gets to a ballad. There’s a strong party vibe to Good Times, and rightly so, for the boys have a lot to celebrate these days. Other examples include “It’z Just What We Do”, which ventures a bit into country-rap Aldean-style, and the closing track “Party People.”

While only about half of this album is actually new to the public, it makes sense that the duo has released a debut full-length that includes the songs that have already helped bring them into the spotlight, while adding a few new gems to the track list. Here’s To the Good Times is only going to add to Florida Georgia Line’s rapidly growing popularity. There’s nowhere to go but up.

 

4 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Music blogger Rob Burkhardt has been a fan of country music since he was a child, cutting his teeth on the sounds of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Reba McIntyre and George Jones. In the words of the now-legendary Barbara Mandrell song, he was "country when country wasn't cool." Nowadays, Rob is both intrigued and excited about the mainstream crossover appeal of modern country, as seen in the success of artists like Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum. Even so, Rob's personal tastes in country music remain "old school," tied to the great legends of country. When he's not blogging about country music, Rob Burkhardt holds a day job as a middle school teacher, and is an avid sports fan. He lives with his wife and two teenage girls in southern Ohio.

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