Country singer-songwriter Logan Mize has been blazing his own path since the release of his self-titled 2009 debut album. Since then he’s built his profile on both sides of the Atlantic with subsequent album releases ‘Nobody in Nashville’ in 2012 and ‘Come Back Road’ in 2017. We last saw him in the UK as part of Country Music Week in 2019, and thanks to the on-going pandemic he hasn’t been able to return since. Still, he’s used the time to put together his latest album ‘Still That Kid’, which is released today.
As is the way of music releasing these days, there’s a good number of tracks on ‘Still That Kid’ that have already been released in the run-up to the album. Nine of the 13 tracks have been out in the world for a little while so there’s actually little new material here for fans to sink their teeth into. Still, it’s nice to have the songs we’ve been rocking out to the past 12 months collected onto one album.
‘Still That Kid’ opens with ‘American Livin’, one of the album’s new tracks, and it’s a classic slice of Country with references to Country staples such as faded blue jeans, chevys and small towns. It’s a homely song that eases you into the record, and it’s a nice bridge from ‘Come Back Road’. The toe-tapping single ‘I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up’ is featured in two versions – the original solo version and the duet with rising star Willie Jones. Both versions have their merits but for me, I prefer the solo version. It’s a song that’s destined to be a rousing moment in Mize’s live shows, whenever he’s able to get out and tour again.
As a body of work, ‘Still That Kid’ is cohesive. It sticks closely in the Country/rock lane that Mize has carved out for himself rarely deviating and attempting to step into new territory. That’s not a criticism either, Mize knows what works for him and it’s actually refreshing to hear a modern Country artist not chasing the latest sound for commercial success. With his gritty voice, Mize sits comfortable in the Country/rock crossover as evidenced on the beat-driven ‘Who Didn’t’ and the album highlight ‘Gone Goes On and On’, a radio-friendly mid-tempo with a memorable melody and a catchy chorus.
‘Grew Apart’, another of the already released singles, appears in two forms – one with Donovan Woods and one with Alexandra Kay. Both versions are strong but I think the Alexandra Kay version just edges it for me, mostly because her voice is so different to Mize’s that the contrast is bolder and more attention-grabbing. Elsewhere on the record Mize shows a softer side on the reflective ‘Practice Swing’, he ups the funk on the Clare Dunn collaboration ‘Get ‘Em Together’ and delivers a hazy summer groove on the chilled ‘Slow’.
‘Something Just Like This’, a cover of the Coldplay and Chainsmokers track that Mize released in 2019, is included towards the end of the track listing. It’s a fine example of transforming a well-known song in such a way that it sounds like it could genuinely be one of Mize’s own tracks. He’s stripped out the beats and replaced them with acoustic melodies that transform into crunchy electric guitars. It works well and it’s a very strong version.
With ‘Still That Kid’ Mize continues to build on the momentum of the past few years. While this album may not be a risk-taking one, it’s a solid effort that reinforces that Mize is a true force to be reckoned with in the genre. He knows what he’s good at and he can harness his strengths to create songs that his fans will cherish. ‘Still That Kid’ should continue to help Mize expand his fanbase and I’d be surprised if it doesn’t deliver him that commercial radio hit that he’s been so close to snatching the past couple of years.
Track list: 1. American Livin’ 2. I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up 3. Who Didn’t 4. Grew Apart (feat. Donovan Woods) 5. Gone Goes On and On 6. Practice Swing 7. Hometown 8. Get Em’ Together (with Clare Dunn) 9. Prettiest Girl in the World 10. Slow 11. Something Just Like This 12. Grew Apart (feat. Alexandra Kay) 13. I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up (with Willie Jones) Record label: Big Yellow Dog Music Release date: 27th January 2021 Buy ‘Still That Kid’ now