Chris Young, ‘Neon’ – Album Review
'Denim' may have been a more appropriate name for Chris Young's new album, as the 10 songs fit him like a great pair of blue jeans. They're comfortable, and Young is as confident as he's ever been on 'Neon,' in stores July 12. They allow him plenty of room to move around -- Young climbs up and down a scale like Keith Urban slides up and down a fretboard -- and even the silliest of the bunch is somehow sexy.
However, when one relies too heavily on one article from the wardrobe, the fabric begins to wear thin. This happens on 'Neon.' Six of the 10 tracks are true love songs, with another ('Tomorrow') about lost love, and the title track a sort of love song to the bars and honkytonks of America. While there isn't a true low point on the album, none stand out like 'Gettin' You Home' did from Young's previous album 'The Man I Want to Be.'
The midtempo 'Lost' is his best effort. The chorus instantly finds its way into the deepest recesses of one's memory, telling a story that ends with clothes on the dashboard. "Lost down some old back road / Lost in a song on the radio / Lost in your deep blue eyes eyes / I don’t care if we spend all night," Young sings.
Of the ballads, 'When She's On' and 'She's Got This Thing About Her' are highlights. It's easy to confuse these two with 'You,' found earlier in the album, but the tender instrumentation makes these a bit more effective. 'She's Got This Thing About Her' is the only risk Young takes on 'Neon,' adding an orchestra arrangement and gentle piano that really pay off. His words are like fingertips running over the small of your back.
Of the songs that don't cause goosebumps, the title-track is a standout -- "A few thousand volts / To cut through the smoke / The windows are tinted / That's why they invented / Neon" -- while 'Save Water, Drink Beer' is probably best left for the live show. The 26-year-old co-wrote seven of the songs, and perhaps that's where it falls slightly flat. His songwriting just hasn't caught up to his incredible vocal talents, leaving a certain homogeneity. Overall, 'Neon' is a good album from a singer and songwriter with great potential.
Watch the Chris Young 'Tomorrow' Video