Album Review

Chris Young – Young Love & Saturday Nights

At first glance, Young Love & Saturday Nights might seem like your usual ninth album from a commercial country male, but if you listen carefully, there’s an understated self-doubt in the record that gives it more depth.

Album - Chris Young - Young Love & Saturday Nights
March 20, 2024 6:54 pm GMT

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Chris Young - Young Love & Saturday Nights

Label: Sony Music Entertainment

Producer: Chris Young, Chris DeStafano & Corey Crowder

Release Date: March 22, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. Looking for You

2. All Dogs Go to Heaven

3. Young Love & Saturday Nights

4. Don’t Call Me

5. What She Sees in Me

6. Country Boy’s Prayer

7. Double Down

8. Call It a Day

9. Drink to Remember

10. Don’t Stop Now

11. Fall Out

12. Fire

13. Gettin’ Older

14. Right Now

15. Million Miles

16. Everybody Grew Up

17. Knee Deep in Neon

18. Down

At first glance, Chris Young’s Young Love & Saturday Nights might seem like your usual ninth album from a commercial country male with a deep, treacly voice. But, if you listen carefully, there’s an understated self-doubt in the record that gives it more depth. 

With 18 songs of solid, radio-safe production, there’s plenty of heard-before sentimentality here. Young sings about all the things that country boys do – cold beers, good dogs, pretty girls and front porches. Songs like ‘All Dogs Go To Heaven’ or ‘Everybody Grew Up’ do exactly what they say on the tin in this way.

However, without the typical, domestic lifestyle of many of his contemporaries, there’s a sincere sense of longing in his delivery that you can actually believe. When he sings “I didn’t know what I was missing until the second that you walked into that bar that night under those neon lights”, it sounds far less cynical than when it’s sung by someone about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary and has a daughter old enough to be there, too. There’s a similar credibility to “booty call with a heart” song ‘Right Now’, as he sings “I know just how you’re feeling when 2am starts creeping around and you’re laying by yourself but you can’t fall asleep in that empty house”.

It's not all bleeding hearts, though. Songs like ‘Double Down’, with its gloriously infectious and twangy undertone, and the toe tapping ‘Knee Deep In Neon’ which builds smart swills of electric guitar, are a genuinely good time. But, their impact is too easily diluted in the fodder of the album’s hefty 18 tracks; and while Young offers a little bit more depth than usual, you really have to search a bit too hard for it to reap its rewards.

This album won’t change the game, but it may just make you think twice about the one who’s playing it.

6/10

Chris Young’s 2024 project, Young Love & Saturday Nights, is available March 22 via Sony Music Entertainment.

For more on Chris Young, see below:

Written by Holly Smith
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