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Morgan Wallen is without a doubt one of the rising stars of country music. His 2018 debut album, « If I Know Me, » went platinum in the US and included three number one singles – « Up Down » with Florida Georgia Line, « Whiskey Glasses » and « Chasin » You » Release of the follow-up album « Dangerous: The Double Album » was far from smooth, music-wise Wallen burns with two other number one – ‘More Than My Hometown’ and ‘7 Summers’ – but the chart topper is because of a few personal indiscretions, including an arrest for the public, came under fire, poisoning and disorderly behavior in May 2020, and his Saturday Night Live postponed after breaking the show’s COVID-19 protocols at a party in Alabama / p> Wallen has since publicly apologized for his behavior, saying, “I think I’ve lost myself a bit.” The personal and professional conflict may not be entirely resolved, and it is it is clear that Wallen still has a lot to do, but based on « Dangerous: The Double Album » he is making his musical move after his enjoyable but inconsistent debut album. As the title suggests, “Dangerous” is a beast of a release with 30 tracks (yes, 30) spread over two discs. The initial announcement made me a little cautious as this type of project can go one of two ways; turn out to be a slice of a real creative genius, or a really indulgent work that’s overcrowded and underserved.
Fortunately for Wallen, « Dangerous » is the former and over the long run it manages to attract every page of its fan base to address. For the first time we hear the versatility that Wallen has not only as a songwriter but also as a singer, and there are plenty of surprises along the way. A handful of tracks here are already well known to fans like ‘Heartless’, Wallen’s Diplo collaboration, his two number 1 singles ‘More Than My Hometown’ and ‘7 Summers’, his surprisingly good Jason Isbell cover ‘Cover Me Up’ Buzz track ‘This Bar’.
« Dangerous » starts unexpectedly with the ballad « Sand in My Boots », one of the songs that Wallen recorded by outside authors (Wallen was involved in 16 of the 30 tracks on the album) . His gritty singing drives the melody as he sings about a fling that never meant anything. The exterior cuts Wallen recorded for the record showcase some really great talent including Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett, Devin Dawson, Hardy, Ernest, Niko Moon and Eric Church, « The Chief ».
Interestingly, the Church is closing -Track « Quittin ‘Time » off the album which can be a smart move so people don’t get distracted from it sooner. It can be said to be a hymn, but the acoustic production really suits Wallen. Further highlights of the outer cuts are the « Whiskey’d My Way » co-written by Thomas Rhett, the summery « Blame It On Me » and the more traditional Country of « Outlaw » with Ben Burgess. One eye-catching song is « Whatcha Think Of Country Now, » co-written by Devin Dawson, in which Wallen teaches a woman what it’s really like to be a country. The name drops Willie Nelson, has an infectious beat and I can imagine it would go down well on a live show.
Given that there are 30 tracks on the record, there really is a chance for Wallen experiment and spread your wings a little. The beat-laden « Wasted On You » is an example of how Wallen picks up on current modern country sounds (which are not too dissimilar to the catchy tune « Heartless »), while « Somebody’s Problem » shows that he feels just as comfortable with a stripped-down arrangement . Depending on how you like your Morgan Wallen, you can split « Dangerous » in the middle. If it’s the more acoustic stuff, go straight to « 865 » or « More Surprised Than Me ». If you’re looking for a party with modern beats, look for « Your Bartender », the title track « Dangerous » or « Country A $$ Shit ».
Perhaps the track that really surprised me is « Only Thing That’s. » Gone « with Chris Stapleton. I wouldn’t have brought Wallen and Stapleton together, and when I found out they had recorded a track I was a little dubious. In reality, it works really well. Stapleton seems to have a unique ability to harmonize with anyone and the difference in their voices is ultimately their strength when they come together.
« Dangerous: The Double Album » makes people feel a lot of different things. Some people will be quick to say that it is too long and has too much filler in it. Fans of Wallen’s more modern country material might only like half of the record, and those who want it to mature a little and go a little deeper will be interested in the other half of the record. To me, ‘Dangerous’ is a smart move as Wallen is playing for everyone and that is likely to result in strong sales and a record of serious longevity – assuming it can actually go on tour and tour sometime in 2021. ‘Dangerous: The Double Album’ is a fascinating glimpse into one of the most conflicting and possibly divisible emerging stars in the modern country, and I think it’s the strongest sign that Wallen could be the future of the genre.
Tracklist: 1 Sand in my boots 2. Wasted by you 3. Someone’s problem 4. More surprised than me 5. 865 6. Warning 7. Neon eyes 8. Outlaw (feat. Ben Burgess) 9. Whiskey’d My Way 10. Ask yourself the wind 11. Your bartender 12. Just what’s gone (feat. Chris Stapleton) 13. Cover me up 14. 7. Summer 15. More than my hometown 16. Still down 17. Rednecks, red letters, red dirt 18. Dangerous 19. Not beer 20. Accuse me 21. Anything land 22. This bar 23. Land A $$ Shit 24. What do you think of land now 25. Me on whiskey 26. Need a boat 27. Silverado for sale 28 Heartless 29. Livin ‘The Dream 30. Quittin’ Time Record Label: Big Loud Release Date: Jan 8, 2021 Buy it Now ‘Dangerous: The Double Album’
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