By Maxim Mower
A refreshingly varied and affecting record from an artist cementing his megastar-elect status.
1. Damn Country Music
2. They Don't Make 'Em Like That No More
3. Mississippi Or Me
4. Different 'Round Here (Feat. Luke Combs)
5. Ain't Like I Can Hide It
6. Copenhagen In A Cadillac (Feat. Jelly Roll)
7. Damn Good Day To Leave
8. My Last Rodeo
9. Workin' On Me
10. Raised Up Right
11. God Made A Good Ol' Boy
12. Ain't My Damn to Give
As someone who’s spent most of 2023 as the direct opener for country music’s two biggest names, it feels somewhat strange that Riley Green’s new project, Ain’t My Last Rodeo, is only his sophomore album.
The palette he draws on is similar to that of his 2018 debut, Different Round Here, with Green compiling a traditionalist montage of Mossy-Oak greens, Coors Light ambers and faded Wrangler blues.
Although the subject matter does not deviate from the ‘lifestyle country’ Riley Green has become synonymous with, the Alabama native delves into his roots, heartbreak and grief with newfound deftness and maturity.
Where his Double-Platinum hit, ‘I Wish Grandpas Never Died’, cursorily scratched the surface of Green’s pain at losing his grandfathers, the new album’s title-track, ‘My Last Rodeo’, digs so much deeper, transporting the listener to a hospital bed-side to hear poignant final words.
Green’s weathered, charismatic delivery brings gravitas to the sentimental ‘Ain’t My Damn to Give’ and ‘Damn Country Music’, while he seamlessly ups the ante on the likes of ‘They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That No More’ and the Jelly Roll-assisted ‘Copenhagen in a Cadillac’.
Although Jelly Roll’s other recent car-themed collaboration spluttered and stalled, ‘Copenhagen in a Cadillac’ fires on all cylinders. It serves as one of the many highlights in a refreshingly varied and affecting record from Riley Green, cementing his megastar-elect status.
Riley Green's 2023 album, Ain't My Last Rodeo, is out now via Big Machine Label Group.
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