Inspiration comes in many forms. Chase Rice found it through an existential crisis. As an integral part of the bro country movement, his catalog has plenty of beer, trucks and pretty girls to go around. After having stratospheric success with a co-write on the massive Florida Georgia hit "Cruise," he found that he had some things to say outside of the gloss and cliche of bro country. Enter his late father's love, who is on the cover as a tribute, a loyal canine companion and a bevy of acoustic arrangements and you have a recipe for a country album that is fueled by three chords and the truth.
The cleverly titled "I Hate Cowboys and All Dogs Go to Hell" touches on suicide. The excellent "Bench Seat," talks to the importance of family, friends and faith with a splash of drinking, of course. Sonically, one of the best tracks is "Oklahoma" thanks to the band Southwall whose country rock sounds like the Eagles, only grittier.
Rice has a writing credit on all 14 tracks and a lot riding on this album. He is billing it as a departure from his previous work, the best album he has ever made and always wanted to make. It is a big ask as a career shift of this kind may be too daunting.
The material has a lot of contemporary gloss in the production, harkening back to his original sound. The release may have been an epiphany for him, but not the game changer advertised.