Morgan Wallen’s ‘Everything I Love’ Sticks With a Winning Formula [Listen]
After announcing his colossal, 36-track One Thing at a Time album on Monday (Jan. 3), Morgan Wallen wasted no time in introducing fans to some of the project's tracks. He dropped three new songs — "Everything I Love," "Last Night" and "I Wrote the Book" — at midnight, and taken all together, the songs represent a mix of familiar subject matter and uncharted ground.
"Everything I Love," perhaps the most radio-ready and traditionally country of the trio, doesn't deviate too far from what Wallen already knows will work. It's a heartbreak ballad with honky-tonk leanings, and plenty of references to trucks, whiskey and back roads.
"I don't care how much they're bitin' / I won't even crank the boat / Soon as that bobber hits the water / Girl, your memory starts to float / Baby why'd I ever take the bait / And take you place that I love to go?" Wallen laments. "I even took you to my hometown to meet my mama / Now I'm gonna see you every time I see that welcome sign ..."
The nexus of heartache and home has already been at the center of multiple Wallen hits. "More Than My Hometown" is about having to choose between a love interest and the small town where he was raised, for example, and "Sand in My Boots" tells the story of someone who falls in love while on vacation, but comes back home to Eastern Tennessee empty-handed.
But there's good reason for Wallen to repeat the formula: It works. Both "More Than My Hometown" and "Sand in My Boots" were massive hits for the singer, and his fanbase hasn't yet offered any indication that their appetite for heartbroken hometown songs is slowing down.
Elsewhere in the new three-pack, Wallen delivers another sentiment that should be familiar to fans in "I Wrote the Book," a ballad that espouses the singer's good ol' boy ways, but still confronts the things about himself that he'd like to improve.
But among all the familiarity is something new: The final song of Wallen's new releases, "Last Night," is just about the closest the singer gets to a love song — a relative rarity in his catalog. Wallen being Wallen, this can't be a straight-ahead, happy, non-conflicted love story: It's the heady tale of two people who can't stay away from each other at the end of the day, despite all the bourbon-soaked drama that plays out between them in the meantime.
Wallen's upcoming project features a handful more songs fans have already heard, like radio singles "You Proof" and "Thought You Should Know," plus previously-released instant grat tracks like "Tennessee Fan," "Days That End in Why" and the title track, "One Thing at a Time." The singer is likely to show more range as more songs emerge — 36 tracks is a lot, after all. One Thing at a Time is due out in full on March 3.