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Chris Young, ‘Aw Naw’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Aw Naw
RCA Nashville

The thick guitar storm that introduces Chris Young‘s new single ‘Aw Naw’ serves notice that the track from his upcoming fourth studio album will not be as corny as the name suggests. This country-rocker is a progressive, creative and well-written leap forward for the ultra-talented singer. He proves he is so much more than a balladeer. 

On paper, the ‘Aw Naw’ lyrics (written by Young, Chris DeStefano and Ashley Gorley) don’t look like much. But his patter and delivery take this song to a new level.

Aw naw, somebody just bought a / Shot of that Patron, hang on / I just might have to stay / Aw naw, look at the time y’all / What happened to coats on, long gone / I should be halfway home but aw naw,” Young sings during the chorus.

Up to this point, his best songs have been a vocal showcase, but the Tennessean holds back for most of this new track. When he finally lets go before the guitar solo, he’s bound to knock your Stetson off.

The second verse begins a love story that grows hotter with each listen: “Yeah, girl I saw you come in / With all of your girlfriends / Just couldn’t cuttin’ up and shootin’ Bacardi / Yeah I got my boys with me / We’re just blowin’ off steam / Not lookin’ to pick up anybody.”

Credit clever production for making this song truly great. A different producer/singer duo might not have been able to fight off the temptation to ham it up on a song called ‘Aw Naw.’ With layers of thick guitar and a garnish of Hammond organ (plus some unique percussion), Young’s new tune not only misses hokey, but it lands in delightfully dangerous.

The challenge with each new album (especially one following the success of a project like ‘Neon’) is to show growth without sacrificing loyal fans. ‘Aw Naw’ leaves one very excited that Young may have done just that with the new project.

4.5 Stars

 

Listen to Chris Young, ‘Aw Naw’

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Next: See More New Songs on the Radio in April 2013

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