New Release Friday: Riley Green – Different Round Here

Posted by Greg on Sep 20, 2019 in Music |

riley green

Let’s face it. There’s little that can slow down Nashville mega-label Big Machine Label Group. Their latest release, Different ‘Round Here from relative newcomer Riley Green is the latest example that when it comes to talent this band makes few if any mistakes.

Green, a native of Jacksonville, AL, actually got his start in 2013. He also appeared on the CMT show Redneck Island and released a series of EPs from 2015-2017 before being signed by Big Machine Label Group, last year.

The first thing you need to know about Different ‘Round Here is that it was produced by Dann Huff. The second thing you need to know is that the album is probably 2-3 songs too long. Below is a track-by-track synopsis.

1. There Was This Girl (3:14)
-written by Riley Green and Erik Dylan, debut single released in June 2018
Good, distinct country voice. Accessible twang vocals, amiable guitars, light and feel good vibe. Breezy, summer song. A bit of a nod to old-school country but not by much. Still does feel like something that might have been recorded in the early 2000s.
-features clever and thought-provoking lyrics.

2. Different ‘Round Here (3:03)
Big guitars, arena-ready, title track. Love those vocals. Super lyrics. A steadfast anthem about what it means to be American, being proud of your hometown and not ashamed to be from the country.

3. Same Old Song (3:08)
Love that country twang, easy, smooth vibe; sort of sounds like William Michael Morgan. Sounds so effortless.

4. In a Truck Right Now (3:51)
Slower song, nice guitar-work. Amiable and pleasant. Very engaging and even harder to dislike. The song tells the story of a nine-year-old learning how to drive with his father. In so far as tempo or pace, the song is easy and breezy and can definitely see it as a radio-charting song. Probably our favorite song on the album so far. He has such an easy, welcoming vibe. Great piano work, great guitar solo at the end.

5. Hard to Leave (3:35)
A backporch, picking song that is both steamy and hazy. Feels like a song after a rainstorm. Lyrics are borederline racy. Song about a passionate night and the morning after. Love the dobro fills. Green seems to love mid-tempo cadence.

6. I Wish Grandpas Never Died (4:10)
The third single and one that has already found chart success. A gorgeous, timeless ballad that begins with supple acoustic guitar and then a deeply affecting lap steel. Arguably the best lyrics on the album. A song about a utopian version of life and the things that make life worth living. An instant classic.

7. Bettin’ Man (3:08)
In true country fashion, this is a song about a relationship that ended. A gritty rocker of sorts. He seems to be very proud of his Alabama roots having referenced them numerous times so far on the album. He continues that trend here. Much like many of its predecessors this is easy, effortless, and so digestible. Hard to think this guy won’t be around for years to come.

8. Numbers on the Cars (3:39)
Quietest song so far and a true ballad. Absolutely tender and lovelorn song about his grandfather and spending quality time with him. Man does it get any better than this?

9. My First Everything (3:44)
A fun and simple song about a memorable road trip to Port Saint Joe. Might be about first love or maybe just the innocence of youth. Not much here and not too much substance. Could have been omitted. The first filler track.

10. In Love By Now (3:26)
Second single, co-written with Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, and Marv Green. A true gem. Simple and understated with some strong twang in the vocals. A solid chorus but not much different from #1, #3, #5, #7 and #9.

11. Get That Man a Beer (3:22)
Sort of a cool vibey song, the twang is starting to get tiring. We love the sentiment of the song and really enjoy the following lyrics.” So if you find a dive down in Cartersville, Georgia, there’s a dude with a Bulldogs tattoo in the corner of the bar, with a scar on his left eye; it’s from a mean right hook of mine, he got my girl and a few good licks in, it broke my heart, but that was back then and I figured out later, well, he might have did me a favor, so if you ever get that chance, won’t you get that man a beer?”

Really fun song about the wisdom received from a failed shot at love.

12. Break Up More Often (3:23)
A much more traditional sound is at work here. Really like this. A ballad about a bad blow-out fight. Very pleasant. A bit too vanilla at times, nothing that keeps him standing above his contemporaries. Appreciate the variety and change of pace, just tired of all the filler. Needed to be an album of 8-9 songs. Definitely enjoy the dobro fill again.

13. Runnin’ With an Angel (3:56)
Rising organ to start. Good slow-tempo vibe. Like this song a lot. Strong chorus and song picks up gradually as it winds its way to the finish. Definitely worth a repeated listen. Another song with solid lyrics: Well your eyes are like a north Alabama sunset, and your smiles like Florida in the spring. I keep on booking shows, but you ain’t come yet, even though you’re in every song I sing, can’t say I don’t deserve it, for putting you through hell, people keep asking if it was worth it. I tell them this, it’s still to soon to tell, well I’ve tried every whiskey from Jim to Jack to Crown, but losing you is the only thing that burns me going down

14. Outlaws Like Us (3:23)
A cool song with a lazy and languid approach. Like much of the album it goes down easy. He seems to self-describe himself as an outlaw, which after listening to tracks 11 and 12 might be accurate. There is a nice searing guitar solo in the final stages. His lead guitar player actually shines quite a bit at various moments throughout the album and this is one such example.

FINAL CONCLUSION: The problem with the disc is that Green never challenges himself. He never takes any chances, he doesn’t make any bold statements. He just sort of panders to the bro-country crowd despite his insistence to try and lean on more traditional country songs. If you want safe, harmless, easy to digest country, then this just might be the disc for you. Either way, there’s hooks aplenty here and there appears to be little reason why this disc will not sell quite well. Chalk it up as another victory for a record label that can do very little wrong.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS: 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13

A video for “There Was This Girl” is below:


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