Florida-Georgia Line is back with the debut single from their yet-to-be-named upcoming album. I don't need to rehash anything here, everyone who knows me or reads this site knows my feelings on Florida-Georgia Line. No substance, overbearing, pop-rap wannabes, blah blah blah. But, with "Dirt", we are seeing a whole new side of these guys. I'm not declaring them the next George Strait or anything, but this is a gigantic, huge step in the right direction. Sit down for second before you read this next line. I like the new Florida-Georgia Line single.
"Dirt" features engaging lyrics that connect different life events to the dirt that is ever present in many rural people's lives. For once, they are making an accurate portrayal of the lives of rural Americans. Sure, there are still little lines tossed in about partying, but that's ok. Its all part of the experience. Key words: part of. Not the whole point. They touch on many different aspects of life, from love, death, putting down roots, making a living, and yes, partying with friends and connect them all to the reoccurring theme of dirt. I'll tell you, it works. As someone who grew up in this lifestyle, it really does have great lyrics that hit home. Rodney Clawson and Chris Tompkins did a great job with this song, and Florida-Georgia Line was wise in picking it. The video is also extremely well done, as it has a great narrative that runs throughout the song. It doesn't overpower and take away from the song, it simply adds to the message of the song enough to give it more emotion and appeal.
I do think that this song is overproduced, but not as bad as most Florida-Georgia Line songs. There is a steel guitar in there and you can actually hear it, which is about as good as you can expect for a radio single in 2014. Tyler Hubbard's obnoxious twang is toned down a little in this song, but his vocal performance still reeks of autotune. Brian Kelley finally gets a chance to sing, and by golly, he actually has a darn good voice. His short moment in the spotlight in the second verse is the best part of the song. His voice sounds more naturally twangy than forced like Hubbard's. They would be wise to let him get on the mic more often.
Look, I'm being realistic here. I'm sure that their next single will be some party with hoes on the riverbank, jacked-up trucks, sweaty mess featuring a rapper who was popular in 2007, but at least they addressed their critics and delivered. This is a major, major victory for the traditional country loudmouths like me on the internet. These guys (or their label heads or their managers or all of the above) read the criticisms, and responded to them. That is huge. It means that we are loud enough and vocal enough to actually cause these guys to try to appease us. All that this song does is make me feel like this site and others like it are doing the right thing by demanding more from the new artists of our storied genre. They are finally starting to listen. "Dirt" isn't song of the year, but its enjoyable to listen to, and it proves that we have the ability to make a difference in the quality of the genre. Thanks for finally beginning to keep it country, Tyler and Brian, hopefully you guys stay a while and make more songs like "Dirt".