Chris Young is a firm favourite with Country music fans in both the US and the UK. Earlier this year he performed on the Main Stage at C2C: Country to Country, marking the second time he’s appeared at the annual festival. He went down a storm and the question on everyone’s lips was, ‘when will there be new music?’ At the time Young promised new music wasn’t far away and a few months later Losing Sleep arrived at radio. The song was the first new material from Young since his 2016 holiday album It Must Be Christmas and is the title track of his seventh studio album.
Expectations for Losing Sleep are high, especially given that Young’s 2015 release I’m Comin’ Over gave him the first number one album of his career. The 10-song set features co-writes by Young on every track and opens with Losing Sleep. The song utilises Young’s strengths allowing his husky tone to pull focus over a gentle beat and guitar riff. It doesn’t take long until the song explodes into the big radio friendly chorus that is a staple of Young’s material. It’s a strong start to the record and a good indication of what to expect from the other songs.
Sonically the album isn’t a huge departure from what Young has done before but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Listening to Young’s music is a bit like cuddling up with your favourite blanket, you know what you’re going to get but you can’t wait to have some time with it. Young aims for a collection of radio ready tracks with Losing Sleep and he hits the bullseye. With only 10 songs on the album it feels a little short, especially when most songs come in at the 3 minute mark, but it means it’s a lean and focused record free from filler.
Highlights on the record include the urgent Hangin’ On, which has all the makings of a bit hit, the summery sway of Holiday, and the epic Trouble Looking, which is about falling for a beautiful girl even though you know it’s a recipe for disaster. Piano ballad Where I Go When I Drink is the standout track and it’s also a bit of a tear-jerker. Young sings about trying to get over a breakup and ditching alcohol so he doesn’t got stuck in an endless cycle of emotion. His voice sounds fantastic on the track and the simple musical arrangement is beautiful.
The album comes to a close with Blacked Out, an acoustic ballad about drinking your feelings away. For anyone that’s been through a breakup it’s a relatable song and Young’s voice really drips with emotion as he delivers the lyrics.
Losing Sleep is a solid album from Young. I would have liked to hear him take a few more risks and with the album’s short duration there would have been room for him to do so. I’m a sucker for Young’s husky voice so I can forgive him quite a lot and I’ve already discovered that the more I listen to Losing Sleep, the more I love it. Long-time fans will be happy with the album and the radio-friendly feel of it will likely add a few more fans to his bulging fanbase.
Track List: 1. Losing Sleep 2. Hangin’ On 3. Holiday 4. Radio and the Rain 5. Where I Go When I Drink 6. She’s Got a Way 7. Leave Me Wanting More 8. Trouble Looking 9. Woke Up Like This 10. Blacked Out Record label: RCA Release date: 20th October 2017