Review: Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes

Ever since the success of their first studio album, Here’s to the Good Times, all eyes of the country world have been focused on Florida Georgia Line. 

During the last year the duo, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, have promoted a “why not?” lifestyle and a
re said to be even planning a #cantaffordnotto clothes line. Anything Goes is an album that embodies every aspect of this open-minded approach from genre blending to a song that’s about getting stoned.

The album opens with ‘Anything Goes’ and ironically, despite being the titular song; it’s the one that sounds the most reminiscent of FGL’s previous album. It’s only when the song ends and the whistling reggae-country tune of ‘Sun Daze’ begins that the album lives up to its name. Of course there are plenty of country songs that are about drinking but very few are about hip-hop and smoking weed. The song acts as a kind of tribute to Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ with its happy-go-lucky lyrics. The country purist will hate ‘Sun Daze’ but I found the laidback slide guitar groove almost impossible to hate.

When it comes to the album’s two ballads, ‘Dirt’ and ‘Smoke’, the duo prove their critics wrong  and show that they have some emotional depth. ‘Dirt’, Anything Goes’ first single, is a song that ventures into more traditional country territory and is a far cry from Here’s To The Good Times’ songs which were mainly about women and alcohol. With lyrics that are about family and love, ‘Dirt’ is my favourite song on the album. Sure it still has the standard country clichés but they are the clichés that fans all know and love.

The rest of the album remains in more familiar FGL territory, with their trademark heavy beat and ‘bro-country’ lyrics about girls, partying and drinking beer.

“The duo prove their critics wrong  and show that they have some emotional depth.”

Anything Goes feels like a transitory album. There are brilliant moments where FGL show their emotional maturity and creative musicianship but all too often the album would slip back into FGL’s old ‘bro-country’ ways. I’m hesitant about welcoming FGL into my life and they are still very far away from becoming one of my favourite country bands. However, for now, I will keep an eye out for any future releases.

Listen to: Sun Daze, Dirt and Smoke.

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