EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re baaaaaaack!
It’s our first post of 2021, and we’re gonna switch things up a bit for y’all. First off, we’re putting the longer album reviews in their own posts, so you won’t have to dig through several other reviews to get that nougaty center. (Fun fact: my autocorrect just informed me that “nougaty” is a word. Life is good, y’all.) We’ll be posting these as we write them, so you’ll get to enjoy more content more often from ya bois.
Second, we’ll still be placing the Quickie reviews in their own post; those will likely still come out every two weeks like before. That way, you’ll get a little taste of more albums – an appetizer to tide you over between the longer main courses. I’m quite hungry, if it wasn’t obvious.
Third… well, I can’t tell you what third is. Just now that we have a couple surprises planned, and we’ll be putting more information out into the ether for those as we solidify things. New content on Fairly KickAss podcast, plus new content on the Fairly KickAss blog?!? You could be so (un)lucky.
That’s all for me: now for the good stuff that you came here to read. Enjoy our first album review of the new year!
Morgan Wallen – Dangerous: The Double Album (Big Load Records)
We have spent the last year of our lives witnessing a remarkable tapestry of sadness and devastation, human suffering and human atrocities. My fellow audiophile (presumably) humans, one week into 2021, we have an answer to the horrors that we saw take over our recent lives.
…and it’s worse.
Yes, in a world trampled by a pandemic, a world that has seen real tragedy, Morgan Wallen has presented us with what true misery sounds like. I’m not talking about his whiny-lyric sad-sack tracks. I’m not talking about his hopeful-lyric sad-sack tracks . I’m not even talking about whatever the hell “865” is about [edit: Okay, Zack made me look it up and it’s about the booze reminding him of home in Tennessee. Less Stupid, more Sad].
To make matters more insulting, the title is not just a run-o-the-mill title, offering a taste of what the album is about. Instead, Dangerous: The Double Album is more akin to a “wet floor” sign, saying “Proceed with caution: THERE’S 30 SONGS HERE!”
Oh, the humanity!
Rather than review individual tracks, because there are far too many, I will provide you with a basic rundown of how my journey through Dangerous played out.
The album opens with a mostly innocuous tune about meeting the girl of your dreams, though he somehow still mentions his Silverado and booze as quickly as he can shoehorn them in. Because…country music has to have its tropes. The song is a masterpiece compared to the next 5 tracks, which includes the aforementioned “865” and “Warning”, which has an unacceptable bass drop and a Nickelbackian mouthfeel. After slogging through the first ⅙ of the record, I’m questioning whether or not I can continue.
The next tune (“Neon Eyes”) was almost a decent tune. Sure it was still about falling in love (kinda), tequila, and living in the spotlight (kinda). But the hook is not painful, and at this point that’s all I can ask for. “Whiskey’d My Way” is an unpretentious take on drinking his way through a breakup, but instantly forgettable. It also kicks off a 6 song string of super-slow sad-party ballads including a guest spot by Chris Stapleton. Not even he could save the track, and I was sure that man’s voice could save anything. This is followed by a legit love song. It’s boring and uninspired, but an actual love song (“More Than My Hometown”). The next three songs are focused on adjectives. He calls himself a “Southern hell-raiser”, a “redneck”, and “dangerous”.
Honestly, over the last 12 songs, I found myself in a sort of cerebral malaise. There was so little difference between them that I didn’t notice when the song changed. His Toby Keith-like single-mindedness when it comes to subject matter is almost respectable. Booze, trucks, and girls populate every single song.
Final verdict: his voice is okay, relatively inoffensive and consistent. The music is all the same, and regardless of an individual song’s vibe, the tempo is stuck within 10 bpm of each other. And as previously mentioned, it’s the same topic for 30 songs.
I submit Morgan Wallen – Dangerous: The Double Album as the first entrant into the “Worst of 2021” pageant. It might qualify as 2 entries.
FFO: toothgrinding, Jason Aldean, Chris Jensen, falling asleep at the wheel