Single Reviews

  BRIAN KELLEY - How We're Livin'- Big Machine Records

Forging his unique path as a solo artist since his time spent as one half of diamond selling duo Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley has mostly embraced his laid-back side, carrying sunshiny vibes over feel-good mid-tempos that have set an aura and tone for this next chapter of his career.

With the current charting success of “See You Next Summer,” and the nostalgic atmosphere of his recent release “Dirt Cheap,” Kelley has used 2023 to turn industry ears toward his individuality while expertly hyping the buzz on his forthcoming debut album.

He now delivers the next piece of the puzzle with “How We’re Livin’.”

The song, premiered this past summer at CMA Fest and co-written by Kelley, Micah Carpenter, Jimmy Robbins, and Mark Trussell, swerves whatever pre-conceived notions we’ve gathered about the next stage of his career as he slides away from those mid-tempo feels and punches straight into an edgy anthem that grips the listener through the crunch of grit in the guitars as he pays tribute to the country lifestyle, exchanging his straw hat for a Stetson.

Peeling back the layers of his backwoods, blue-collar lifestyle, the ultra-modern melody engulfs the produced beats that hold the pacing rhythm as Kelley twists through a listing of what it means to be country, singing in each of the verses of going to the fullest in everything you do, whether it be working hard until the job gets done or being the type of person who’s word you can trust.

Raising the anthem crescendo in the chorus, he holds tight to his own roots as he simultaneously reaches through the speakers and grips the country loving hearts of the listener to get them pumping a fist in the air as he takes us directly into the definition of the country boy condition:

“‘Round here it’s a family tradition

It’s a long long line of lovin’ how we’re livin’

Can’t help it it’s a country boy condition

Where we spend our Johnny cash on huntin’ and fishin’

And our boots stay ready

Saddle up big Fords big Chevys through the mud

‘Round here it’s a family tradition

It’s a long long line of lovin’ how we’re livin’”

While some will hold to the argument that this song closely follows suit with what his last chapter brought to the country music format, there’s also strong elements of transparently noticeable truth in this full on embracing of his roots as he unapologetically runs through this backwoods bio of what it means to be country.

(Review Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis/Artwork c/o Big Machine Records)


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