Chris Young's new album Losing Sleep begins with a pop-friendly, R&B country jam and ends with a song so raw you shiver. "Blacked Out" was the perfect closing track, the singer says.

Young says he knew the moment he wrote the song with Jon Randall and Josh Hoge that they had something special. "We wrote it in about 45 minutes and I was like, 'That is awesome,'" he tells Taste of Country. "I was immediately playing that one for people."

The title came from Young, but it was Randall who suggested naming other things that are blacked out (Elvis Presley in 1968, Johnny Cash, Ray-Bans) the last of which is the protagonist. "He picks up the guitar and started playing the lick that you hear," Young recalls, "and he goes, 'Like this.' And he spit about half of the chorus out and I go, 'Yeah, that sounds pretty cool.'"

Don't Worry, Real Country Music Is Alive and Well

A glorified demo matches the final recording. Acoustic guitars, a subtle steel guitar and just a hint of percussion team with Young's thick country voice to deliver an emotional performance. There's a light guitar solo toward the end, but mostly this song relies on space. It's a lyrical showcase, perhaps more so than any in his catalog.

"Blacked out / Like that label on a bottle of Jack / The old guitar Emmylou has / Like the coal at the bottom of an old mine shaft," he sings to start the final verse.

The song "Losing Sleep" opens the album, and fans will find an equally sexy ballad called "Radio and the Rain" midway through. Another spotlight song is "Where I Go When I Drink," co-written by Trent Tomlinson and Tyler Reeve, the writers behind Brett Young's smash hit "In Case You Didn't Know." During a takeover on Taste of Country Nights radio Young joked that would have been willing to kidnap the two to secure a writing session.

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