Morgan Wallen, Kacey Musgraves, & More – Single Round-Up

Single

Week of 1/26/2024

Spin You Around (1/24) – Morgan Wallen Written By Cam Greene

How does a song go from a bro-country ditty about meeting a girl at a bar to a soulful ballad about falling in love at first sight? Ahead of the confusing mess that was the Stand Alone 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition album, Morgan Wallen re-recorded the longtime fan-favorite “Spin You Around” as an acoustic track. Wallen’s new song takes on the classic and has been re-imagined perfectly to reflect the artistic evolution we’ve seen from him in the last five years. Its slowed-down melody and cool delivery flip the song on its head to make a much more down-to-earth record. The highlight of this single is the production, of Joey Moi, who keeps this stripped-back version much more focused on what Morgan has to offer vocally. “Spin You Around (1/24)” gives fans a different look at the artist since the early days and truly captures the change that Morgan Wallen has experienced since those early days.

9.0

Strangers – Kameron Marlowe, Ella Langley Written By Brandon Iozzo

Leading with some prolonged pedal steel and signature baritone vocals from Kameron Marlowe, it’s easy to expect from its musical style that “Strangers” is a track about heartbreak; however, more specifically than that, it focuses on how two people define themselves in the aftermath of a relationship ending. Alongside Marlowe, newcomer Ella Langley eases into the southern-rock sound of the duet, initially providing backing vocals before belting out some powerhouse notes from her side of the breakup. Co-written by both artists Chase McGill and Will Bundy, “Strangers” is a steamy, well-produced twist of a ballad where the love between two people is felt in Marlowe and Langley’s chemistry, and the inevitable fallout of the relationship gives a visual, storytelling effect. Preparing for Marlowe’s next body of work alongside the recently released “Tennessee Don’t Mind,” his fans likely won’t be “strangers” to this earworm for long.

9.4

Young At Heart – MacKenzie Porter Written By Brandon Iozzo

Having recently announced the upcoming release of her debut album Nobody’s Born With A Broken Heart, MacKenzie Porter ties innocence, maturation, and adulthood heartache all together with “Young At Heart.” Written by seasoned songwriters Emily Weisband, Lauren Hungate, and Tofer Brown, the country-pop track highlights how a teenage broken heart fades, as one gets older, only to come right back in adulthood. Drawing some sonic similarities to Michael Ray’s “Driving All Night,” the single meets listeners with some acoustic sounds, showing off a lighter tone from MacKenzie through the sting of the lyrics. Though we’ve seen a string of unimpressively juvenile releases from her in the past, “Young At Heart” feels like a turning point for Porter without losing sight of her artistic identity. 

8.4

$10 Cowboy – Charley Crockett Written By Adam Delahoussaye

For the past eight years, Texas native Charley Crockett has been concocting a songwriting mythos that rivals the old American folklore of his cowboy forefathers, and “$10 Cowboy” is a great continuation of that saga. The title track from his upcoming album, this song booms with ideas of showmanship and theatrics that, in return, only ask for us to drop a crisp dollar bill in his hat. There’s a tinge of nostalgia immediately noticeable within the track’s opening chords. Crockett and bass player Billy Horton’s production emulates the antiquity of his inspirations, creating pictures of dusty drums or stiff guitar strings that haven’t been plucked since the days of Marty Robbins, whose fictional rodeo star Billy McClain is referenced several times here. It’s simply Crockett at his best, with his booming bass of a voice that sounds vaguely familiar yet utterly singular in its personality. Constantly asking for less than he deserves, this newest release from “The Son of Davy” marks a promising moment in an already-storied career. 

8.2

Milwaukee – Wyatt Flores Written By Creed Miller

After generating plenty of hype on social media, Wyatt Flores’s new heartbreak anthem “Milwaukee” is finally out. His songwriting has always been excellent, and this single is no different. Written alongside Graham Barham, Gavin Lucas, and Cole Miracle, Wyatt reminisces on a past love and looks back at his mistakes that caused this girl to slip through his fingers. The chilling lyrics join the cold Milwaukee day with the pain and emptiness that our protagonist feels. Production-wise, this track could not be better. The falsetto melodies harmonize with the beautiful fiddle playing by Kenzie Miracle before the electrifying chorus takes over. Flores gives everything he’s got in this chorus, singing about the different things he should’ve done to save the relationship. His vocals also continue to stand out; they pair gorgeously with the rest of the band, allowing this track to really come together. Wyatt Flores has been on a fast track to fame and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. “Milwaukee” has the potential to be one of his best songs yet, and was no doubt worth the wait.

9.6

Turn – Tyler Hubbard Written By Max Buondonno

Tyler Hubbard continues to be Tyler Hubbard; need we say more? The former lead man of Florida Georgia Line has had quite the solo career thus far, enjoying success from singles like “5 Foot 9,” “Dancin’ in the Country,” and, most recently, “Back Then Right Now.” None of these songs have been works of artistic brilliance, but they’re fun enough to listen to and mostly passable if you’re not a T-Hub hater. Following in that same vein is “Turn,” Hubbard’s latest single that’s so unspecific that its only character is in its production, which still only sounds marginally different from the rest of his catalog. These lyrics sound like Hubbard, Casey Brown, and Josh Miller locked themselves in a room, stared at the word “turn” in the dictionary, and challenged themselves to turn it into a country radio single (pun absolutely intended). With one verse about living in the country and another about a girl… yeah, this is a very T-Hub song, and it’s one of his least inspired to date.

4.0

Roulette On The Heart – Conner Smith feat. Hailey Whitters Written By Christina Bosch 

Telling the classic tale of an on-again-off-again relationship, “Roulette On The Heart” is a triumphantly strong moment on Conner Smith’s debut album. As his gentle, southern twang explains the ebb and flow of a sometimes toxic courtship, Zach Crowell’s newly traditional country production lends itself perfectly to the story. Although the track would have benefited from a dedicated verse from his duet partner’s perspective, Hailey Whitters adds gravitas with a delicate and vulnerable backup vocal. Written by Conner with veteran songwriters Jessi Alexander, Chase McGill, and Mark Trussell, the group crafted a beautifully tragic story. In a time where male/female duets seem to be a dime a dozen and overdone, Conner and Hailey both bring genuine, believable delivery on this track about an unpredictable love.

8.7

Three Little Birds – Kacey Musgraves Written By Ryan Lippe

Reinventing the reggae smash hit, Kacey Musgraves is no stranger to covers of legends after her beautiful rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for the Elvis movie in 2022. She carries the same delicate tone to one of Bob Marley’s biggest hits with her trademark soft vocals bringing a unique and intimate vibe to the track that only her vocal range can fit. Musgraves works with Ian Fitchuk to develop such a tranquil tone with soft steel, piano, and guitar in addition to layering her angelic voice for the harmonies. For such a long song, not a single second is wasted on “filler;” each note adds a different level of intimacy; this is the first of a seven-song EP that will be released the day of the movie, February 14th. 

9.5

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