Florida Georgia Line, ‘Anything Goes’: Everything You Need to Know
There's been no shortage of eyes on Florida Georgia Line as they prepared 'Anything Goes,' their second studio album. The duo rocketed to superstardom on the strength of 'Cruise' and several other hits from 'Here's to the Good Times,' so fans -- and haters -- wondered if they'd be able to capture lightning in a bottle twice.
'Anything Goes' features 12 songs from well-known and not-so-well-known songwriters. Joey Moi is back to produce, and sonically, he brings what he's famous for: heavy guitars wrapped in club-inspired rhythms and reverb soaked vocals. That said, Florida Georgia Line sample plenty of new styles that will surely surprise fans.
During the past year, Hubbard and Kelley have promoted a "Why not?" lifestyle. They're even said to be beginning a Can't Afford Not To clothing line, based on a hashtag they often use. 'Anything Goes' is reflective of this news, and the songs are reflective of an open-minded approach to creating a truly unique second album.
'Dirt' was the first single from 'Anything Goes,' and Hubbard and Kelley don't downplay it. "That song is a song I think we moved to Nashville to write," Kelley tells the Tennessean. "We didn't write it, but we knew immediately that was our song." The duo explain to Taste of Country that releasing a song with more emotional depth wasn't critical at this point in their career, but it's tough to imagine their popularity not waning without a different style for fans to lean into.
'Sun Daze' seems primed to be the second single. The laid-back, marijuana-friendly reggae groove introduces yet another new style from Florida Georgia Line. "All I wanna do today is wear my favorite shades and get stoned," they sing. The duo tell ToC the word "stoned" may be replaced with "home" for a radio edit.
The Remaining Songs:
'Anything Goes' (Felix McTeigue, Chris Tompkins, Craig Wiseman) - The title track sets the tone for the next chapter of FGL's career. It's "setting the standard of no rules" Hubbard says to 'Today.' Find one of two Alabama name-checks in the very first second of the song. "Victoria's Secret ain't no secret no more," Hubbard sings later on during this riverside party song.
'Good Good' (Hubbard, Kelley, Cary Barlowe, Sarah Buxton, Jesse Frasure) - 'Good Good' is most similar to songs from the duo's first album. "Sippin' seven and seven is seven jeans," they sing, name-checking Shania Twain early on. "Go on and shake your thing like a leaf / Nobody gonna see it but the moon and me."
'Smile' (Chris DeStafano, Dallas Davidson, Ashley Gorley) - Sonically this song stands out with a banjo introduction that leads into producer Joey Moi's favored mix of rock, country and electronica.
'Sippin' on Fire' (Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, Cole Taylor) - Hubbard urges an ex to forget about her boyfriend for a night. There isn't much heartbreak on 'Anything Goes,' but one finds shadows of it here.
'Smoke' (Josh Kear, Tompkins) - Piano and female vocals allow this song to stand out as unique. After the intro, it's sonically similar to many of the others on the album, although the whine of the steel guitar is remarkable. "She'll always float, back through my mind like smoke," Hubbard sings.
'Bumpin' the Night' (Bart Allmand, Tompkins, Clawson) - Kelley takes lead again during parts of this mellow groove. "Two bottles of Bud / Two speakers in the truck / Two people in love just bumpin' the night," FGL sing at the chorus.
'Angel' (Clawson, Hubbard, Kelley, Ross Copperman) - The second half of 'Anything Goes' is packed with mid-tempo and slow love or lost love songs that still pack energy. Lyrically, this song is about as easy to wrap your mind around as any the duo has released.
'Confession' (Clawson, Copperman, Matt Jenkins) - It'd be a shame if 'Confession' didn't end up as a single. The songwriters penned a chorus that's both emotional and sonically satisfying, and Moi does a fine job in amplifying the message. "This is just a moonlight soaked / Ring of smoke / right hand on a cold one confession," Hubbard sings.
'Like You Ain't Even Gone' (Tompkins, Hubbard, Kelley, Clawson) - This track begins with an eruption of emotion from Hubbard. The songwriting team put together a true breakup song that drips with hurt.
'Every Night' (DeStefano, Gorley, Hubbard, Kelley) - The most electro-infused track on 'Anything Goes.' After a half-dozen more subdued songs, FGL finish with one that's sure to sound good near the end of their live set.
Lyrically, Florida Georgia Line stick to what made them famous, but sonically, they take chances with songs like 'Sun Daze,' 'Dirt' and 'Bumpin' the Night.' Hubbard and Kelley made no attempt to recreate 'Here's to the Good Times.' Their efforts to push past boundaries result in some of the more satisfying moments on 'Anything Goes.' Perhaps most importantly, they prove they're capable of showing emotional depth.
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