The career of RaeLynn has certainly been an interesting one to watch. She was discovered on The Voice by Blake Shelton and made a splash with the hit “God Made Girls,” which was criticized as being a bro-pandering song. Not to mention her voice received plenty of criticism. But then she found redemption with maturation, releasing songs like “Love Triangle.” Her voice has improved too. With this improvement, it makes it easy to root for RaeLynn. A few months ago she released her newest song “Tailgate” and I sort of forgot about it. But then I started to hearing it more again on satellite radio recently and it’s just too damn infectious for me not to review it. The production is lively, colorful and engaging. The lyrics are clever and witty, as RaeLynn worries about a tailgate telling of the sexual romance she experienced on it in her teen years. Of course a tailgate can’t talk, but it’s the song’s nonchalant attitude about sex on a tailgate that gives it such a breezy and fun feel. The lingering organ in the background with the synthesizers really create the perfect sound for it too. “Tailgate” is just a blast to listen to and so easy to enjoy.
Songwriters: RaeLynn, Corey Crowder, Tyler Hubbard, Canaan Smith
Florida Georgia Line is a duo that I’ve had mixed thoughts about up to this point. They exploded onto the scene with their mega-hit “Cruise,” specifically the remix with Nelly. They were one of the prominent figures of the bro country era. But they’ve also proven they can bring depth and well-written messages with songs like “Dirt” and “May We All.” The duo is now back with two new songs, “Simple” and “Colorado,” with the former being the lead single. “Simple” seems like a combination of their biggest hits, as it’s both catchy and has a nice message behind it. The song greets you with some upbeat whistling, which I could do without. But they’re not too bad, as they aren’t prominent throughout the song. Overall the production of the song is quite reminiscent of the Lumineers or earlier Mumford & Sons: plucky and bright banjos accentuated by pop stylings. It has a nice summer feel to it. The song is about focusing on the simple things in life and the love you’re surrounded by. I particularly enjoy the part: “We used to live on Instagram/Worry ’bout who all gives a damn/’Bout where we’ve been and where we ended up.” The song then goes on about how finding love shows how meaningless all of this is and what truly matters. It fits the times and this time of the year. “Simple” stays true to its name and is a solid single from Florida Georgia Line.
Songwriters: Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Michael Hardy & Mark Holman
P.S. “Colorado” is pretty good too, as it reminds me of a lot of the singalong drinking songs from the 90s and early 2000s.