By Emily Wagner
It may just be an opinion, but this opinion is correct. Chase Rice just released his best music to date. And he would say the same.
After years of an up and down journey, Rice scales it back, giving us The Album Part One with 7 new tracks. Part 2 of the album is set to be released later this year with a handful of more songs. It’s a far cry from his 2014 Ignite the Night album with 18 songs, and it gives listeners to really dig into these songs. Quality over quantity, which exactly what Rice gives us.
It can be heard in “Messy,” the album’s most surprising track. Void of all the production, it’s about as stripped down as we’ve heard Rice, with potent lyrics that are a far cry from his “Ready Set Roll” days. Taking it even further is a sweet love song that we rarely hear from Chase, “Forever To Go.” There’s no doubt this single would top the charts, and taking over the wedding circuit.
Long time fans of Chase will still get their fix with “In The Car” a song that we might have heard from Chase a few years ago. It’s fun, up-tempo, but not as ‘bro-country’ as some of his first songs. “Lonely If You Are” is the only familiar song on the album, which is already becoming a big hit for Rice. It’s evident in “Lonely If You Are” and the first track of the album “American Nights” That Rice has a talent for making that talk/sing phrasing really work. “American Nights” gives major “Where is the Love” vibes, but it works as a work hard, blue collar anthem.
“Everywhere” and “Best Night Ever” hold down the middle of the album. In “Everywhere” it seems like Chase Rice has the same problem Tim McGraw did, seeing his lost love everywhere he goes. And no, “Best Night Ever” is not a cover of One Direction’s massive hit (although that would be awesome), and the song might be the weakest on the album, but it is still a solid song, that I think just shows how great the rest of the album is.
It’s clear to hear that Chase Rice has grown into himself as an artist, a songwriter, a performer. His music has a a different depth to it, a maturity, or the conclusion of what happens when you start knowing yourself better as an artist. The Album Part 1 was a welcome surprise with a new sounding Chase, with flashes of the Chase Rice that we’ve come to love.