Chris Young: ‘Famous Friends (Deluxe Edition)’ – Album Review

Chris Young’s brand new deluxe edition of Famous Friends is out now, featuring collaborations with artists like Old Dominion and more. Listen below.

Nearly a year since the August 2021 release of his eighth studio album, Famous Friends, Chris Young is back with a deluxe version that features even more collaborations and stripped-down renditions of two of his biggest hits.

While the main body of the album is the same as last August, featuring “Raised on Country,” “At the End of the Bar” with Mitchell Tenpenny, and the #1 title track with Kane Brown, it doesn’t end there. The deluxe edition adds six new tracks, making it a hefty, yet incredibly solid, twenty-song collection.

Having already released four singles from the album, it remains to be seen if more are on the way, but Young’s collaborations with both Old Dominion and Jimmie Allen are solid contenders. In a recent press round, Young admitted that “both happened really organically.” Of the Old D track, “Everybody Needs a Song,” Young says it was born from a co-write between himself, Chris DeStefano, and Old Dominion’s Brad Tursi. Once it was written, they realized it would sound great as a collaboration, and that couldn’t be more true.

Meanwhile, of “Music Note,” Young’s collaboration with Jimmie Allen, he admits that his duet partner “had been yelling at me because we hadn’t done a song together.” On the stirring track, the pair celebrate the fact that they’re lucky enough to make money while making music. “Thanks for giving this Tennessee boy a chance,” Young croons as the pair harmonizes on the single-worthy track.

The two new solo Young tracks here are “If I Knew What Was Good for Me” and “Like a Slow Song.” The former is an anthemic ballad that fits perfectly into Young’s romantic wheelhouse of longing and moving on.Man I hate the way I miss us // Damn this is messed up,” He growls with passionate regret as he considers showing up at the front door of a lost love. “I’d be over there tonight // If I knew what was good for me.”

Meanwhile, “Like a Slow Song” shows off Young’s romantic side, crooning about how he’s going to love a lucky lady. “I’m going to love you like a slow song // Hold onto you until the night’s gone // Whisper anything that you want // ‘Cause I’m gonna love you like a slow song.” It’s easy to think of this track as the second part of “Getting You Home,” which Young admits is a song that always has to find its way into his setlist. “If I don’t play ‘Getting You Home,’ I think people would throw things at me,” He laughed. “It’s the first single, the first hit.”

Young caps the album with acoustic takes on “Think of You” with Cassadee Pope and “I’m Comin’ Over.” While both songs shine in their original versions, there’s something especially magical about the stripped-down versions. 

On “Think Of You,” Young and Pope trade verses, their voices blending effortlessly. Of the new version, the songwriter said that it’s “real awesome to have another version of it out there. It’s stripped away and it’s just her crushing it on vocals.” Yet, when asked if the pair would ever collaborate again, Young says never say never. “I always go by the song will dictate that,” he says of the possibility.

The acoustic version of “I’m Comin’ Over” closes the album on a poignant note, showing Young at his finest. With a voice that’s truly unmatched in the genre, it’s on full display as he harmonizes over the sparse guitar instrumentation.

While the Famous Friends (Deluxe Edition) features a huge list of collaborations, the Tennessee native admits that there’s one dream duet partner who couldn’t commit quite yet. “The only person that has ever told me, ‘no’, and it was because he had just done something…He didn’t have the ability to do it right now…and I will annoy him until I die, or ‘til he does it. It’s Tim McGraw. Down the road, I’m doing something with Tim. He already knows.”

With today’s release of the deluxe edition of Famous Friends, Young is most looking forward to taking these songs on the road this summer and getting things back to normal. “At the end of the day, you want to be in front of a crowd of people, playing your songs for them, watching them unwind. I’m getting adrenaline from the crowd, they’re hopefully getting that from me and the band. Just being able to do that all summer is gonna be fantastic.”

Famous Friends Deluxe Edition Tracklist:

  1. Raised on Country
  2. Famous Friends (with Kane Brown)
  3. Town Ain’t Big Enough (with Lauren Alaina)
  4. Drowning
  5. Rescue Me
  6. Break Like You Do
  7. At the End of a Bar (with Mitchell Tenpenny)
  8. Love Looks Good on You
  9. One of Them Nights
  10. When You’re Drinking
  11. Cross Every Line
  12. Hold My Beer Watch This
  13. Best Seat in the House
  14. Tonight We’re Dancing
  15. Everybody Needs a Song (with Old Dominion) – NEW
  16. If I Knew What Was Good for Me – NEW
  17. Music Note (with Jimmie Allen) – NEW
  18. Like a Slow Song – NEW
  19. Think of You (with Cassadee Pope) (Acoustic Version) – NEW
  20. I’m Comin’ Over (Acoustic Version) – NEW

Chris Young’s new record, ‘Famous Friends Deluxe Edition’ is out now.

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Famous Friends Deluxe Edition is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.