This past weekend Rodney Atkins released his 5th studio album, his first since 2011. To say his life has been a whirlwind since then would be an understatement. Here’s the crash course:
In fall of 2011 his wife at the time accused him of assault, was later cleared, and ended up getting divorced. Two years later he married singer-songwriter Rose Falcon. In December 2018 the couple welcomed a son and recently announced they are pregnant again. So plenty of things to write about, right?
One theme throughout the album is vulnerability on Atkins part. He appears to let fans into his life more as he lyrically sings about unhealthy relationships, needing someone to put him in his place, and falling in love. It’s the “real reel” of Rodney Atkins life.
While there wasn’t one song that jumped out as the next single there are definitely a few on here that have a good chance to find radio success. Pay close attention to “What Lonely Looks Like” and “Young Man.”
While his wife (Rose Falcon) officially gets vocal credit on two of the tracks, she does provide background vocals on the rest of the songs. It’s a clever way to really bring their relationship to life through the songs of love and heartbreak. It’s a greater sense of responsibility, respect, and maturity that we get from Rodney Atkins with the help of his wife.
He starts off the album with a fiery song about that attraction you keep going back to with someone in the past in “Burn Something.” Things are over…or so you think. He then heads right into his hit and title track “Caught Up in the Country.” It’s interesting to think that this was on the charts all of 2018, keeping the momentum leading to this new album. “Figure Out You” is a love ballad that he sings with his songwriting wife Rose Falcon. If you’re looking for a song about the real reel…this is it.
One of the more lyrically clever songs is “Thank God for You.” A sly, uptempo song Atkins sings about the importance of women…and them taming us lads down. “My Life” is a song in the similar vein about how he was heading down the wrong path until that special person showed up. He then pivots to a Tim McGraw sounding song. “So Good” tells the all too familiar story about how hard the end of a truly good relationship is. He then gets over the heartache in “What Lonely Looks Like.” It’s peak Rodney Atkins and as one of the best songs on the album I think it has next single potential for him.
“Cover Me Up” tells the story of overcoming some dark times in a relationship. Atkins has one of the more relatable songs on the album in “All My Friends Are Drunk.” The song tells the story of attempting to move on after a breakup. Sometimes alcohol is the solution — but sometimes not so much.
Another made for Rodney Atkins song is “Young Man” as he tells the story of being young growing up through the stages of rebellious teenager to first love and to fatherhood. Many men will relate to this one. He’s once again joined by his wife in “Everybody’s Got Something” as they sing from the perspective of the “things” that remind them of each other from a past relationship. It’s arguably the best track on the project. The album concludes with a bittersweet song in “Waiting on a Good Day” as he sings about tough times and trying to make it through with your spouse. Hopefully they make it in the end.
It’s good to hear new music from Rodney Atkins again. We’ll be curious to see which songs end up getting sent to radio as the next singles. Give the album a listen: