Craig Morgan releases his latest studio album on Friday (June 3), and the country singer shares an impassioned acoustic performance of his new single, "I'll Be Home Soon," in this Taste of Country exclusive.

A Whole Lot More To Me is Morgan's ninth album, and it's also one of the most personal he's ever recorded. He co-produced the project with Byron Gallimore, and says shaking up his work process helped bring some fresh elements into the album..

"We'd met a few times, and always talked about  writing and working together in some capacity, but really didn't know each other a whole lot," Morgan tells Taste of Country. "It wasn't until we started talking about this project that we got to know each other."

"I hadn't worked with him before, so I was a little outside of my comfort zone," he adds. "The only goal was that I really wanted to hyper-focus on making a great record, and not worry about the industry of making records, and not worry about the industry of the aftermath. Just go in the studio, and just write and find and produce the best possible record that I could make, that would be relevant to country radio today."

The idea there was that there is a lot more to me. I’m not just a straight-up country singer ... Don’t get me wrong; I love country music.

Morgan built his career around down-home country songs like "Almost Home," "That's What I Love About Sunday" and "This Ole Boy," but in recent years he's stretched out into big, melodic ballads as well. "I'll Be Home Soon" features another powerhouse vocal performance along the lines of "Wake Up Loving You," but Morgan doesn't specifically seek out material that lets him show off his impressive range.

"I don't think about showcasing my range as much as I do the emotional delivery of the song," he says. "A song doesn't have to be real rangy to be delivered, and to strike those emotional chords. It's really just about being able to deliver it and have it come across in a way that people would be able to relate, and attach themselves to the music."

A Whole Lot More To Me features a wide array of styles, including a particularly soulful turn on the title track, which was inspired by Morgan's feeling that there was part of him the public hasn't seen.

"The idea there was that there is a lot more to me. I'm not just a straight-up country singer," he shares. "Don't get me wrong; I love country music. If our format is 12 inches wide, in the past, my other albums were two inches toward the middle, or two inches toward the country side, or two inches toward the pop side. This album covers the entire 12 inches of the format."

The album also features more traditional Morgan tracks like "I'm That Country" and "Can't Wait to Stay," which closes out the project. Morgan points to "All Cried Out" as one of his own personal favorites, and he also includes a song titled "Nowhere Without You" that was co-written by Michael McDonald, who also sang the demo.

"That's one of my favorite songs I've ever recorded," Morgan says. "Quite honestly, I wasn't sure that I'd be able to sing it. There was something so special about that song. It's a love song, but at the same time, when you hear that song, it has this spiritual undertone. That's something so powerful, and it is one that I really, really sing hard on. I really get to reach out there and belt."

A Whole Lot More To Me is available everywhere Friday. Check out Morgan' exclusive acoustic performance of "I'll Be Home Soon" in the video above.

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