Chris Young: ‘Young Love & Saturday Nights’ – Album Review

Chris Young’s new album, Young Love & Saturday Nights, featuring “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” “Looking for You,” and “Young Love & Saturday Nights” is out now.  Read our review below!

With one of country music’s strongest and most impressive voices, Chris Young’s music is instantly recognizable. He has a penchant for combining modernism with traditionalism that has made him one of the genre’s most consistent hitmakers for nearly twenty years.

Today, the singer-songwriter releases his most ambitious project to date, Young Love & Saturday Nights, an eighteen track collection that shows him stretching himself, musically, sonically, and lyrically. On his ninth full-length release for Sony Music Nashville, the Tennessee native continues to do what he does best, but does it even better. “The biggest thing for me – is I wanted this album to be special, I had a lot of time to work on this record,” He shared in a recent roundtable. “I really was just trying to find a lot of things that I wanted to say…I think I was just trying to pour out a little more of myself on this record that I haven’t really delved into before.”

“This is what this album felt like it needed to be for me,” Young shared. “It’s a little louder, a little more raw. Even the stripped-down songs are heavier. I love creating music and I love making it and the fact that I get to do that for a living is a pretty incredible thing.”

The album finds Young branching out beyond love lost, sexy times, and drinking songs to examine things like getting older, God, and his love for his dog. The seasoned singer-songwriter co-wrote 15 of the album’s 18 tracks, and was involved in producing or co-producing the bulk of the songs, bringing a new flair to his sound.

When speaking to reporters, Young revealed that he has one main issue with the album. “Here’s the problem with this record: I feel like there are about nine or ten singles on it. That’s the only negative I would say about this record, and that’s why I’m so excited to talk about it.”

While it may be commonplace for artists to feel that way, it’s truly the case on Young Love & Saturday Nights, as there are multiple single-ready tracks, just begging for radio play. Ultimately, it will depend on what direction Young and his team wants to go, as this album truly offers him the opportunity to put out something unexpected.

A perfect example of this is “Country Boy’s Prayer,” which he describes as “one of those really, really special songs.” For Young, it shows a different side, as he thanks God for all of the “country” things that make life great. “Yeah, I pray // There’s gas in my truck // And dust in my mirror // That every day my fridge is full of ice-cold beer,” He sings. “Gimme friends that I would fight for // And a girl that I would die for // Let us grow old on a front porch chair // That’s a country boy’s prayer.”

Other songs tackling new topics for Young include the previously-released ode to man’s best friend, “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” the blistering “Fire,” the celebration of small town life, “Everybody Grew Up,” and a special song for his dad, “Growin’ Up.” On that tune, he touches on themes of aging and mortality, and admits he had tried to write a similar song many times, but kept coming up empty. Instead, it came to him from writers Johnny Clawson, Dave Fenley, and Kyle Sturrock. “It’s really, really special,” he says. “It’s one of those where you hear it and you’re like, ‘Damn, I wish I wrote that.’”

For those who love Young for his sexier songs, he admits they’ll always have a place on his records. “I think that’s something that’s indicative of my records. There’s always going to be love songs, sexy songs. It’s just something that has to happen.” On Young Love & Saturday Nights, he turns the lights down low and his voice down lower on the 90’s-tinged  “Call It a Day” and the seductive “Don’t Stop Now.”

“What She Sees in Me” is a study in incredulity as Young can’t imagine what a childhood friend-turned-lover could possibly see in him. “I get to see how pretty she is when she wakes up // I get to see how perfect she is with no makeup // I can see us twenty years from now on an old porch swing // I still see her in every dream // I can see her faith when it gets tough // I can see her grace when I mess up // I can see how far she is out of my league // But I still can’t see what she sees in me.”

While Young is falling in love on tracks like “What She Sees,” he’s trying to fall out of it on “Don’t Call Me,” “Million Miles,” and “Fall Out.”. “But how do you fall out// How do you tell your heart don’t break // How do you not care // Whenever someone says her name // How do you rewind back to the good times // Act like she didn’t mean so much,” He croons. “I know how to fall in, but how do you fall out // Fall out of love.”

It’s not all love and heartbreak here, however. There’s “Double Down,” “Looking for You,” and “Knee Deep in Neon,” all driving up-tempos that provide more raucous moments. Likewise, the album’s title track is a catchy and nostalgic explosion, sampling the iconic guitar riff from the David Bowie classic, “Rebel Rebel.” “I had no idea what it was. The minute it started, I’m like, ‘Are they playing me “Rebel Rebel” right now? That’s weird,’” Young recalls of the song written by Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, and Josh Thompson. “Then I realized it was an entirely new song.” 

The album concludes with “Down,” the final track added to the album. While the relationship may have ended, it certainly had its good moments, and according to Young, that’s worth recognizing. “It’s like, ‘Hey we knew this wasn’t going to last, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t amazing while it did,’” he says of the album’s closing moment

On Young Love & Saturday Night, Chris Young is at his absolute finest, perfectly walking the line between modern and traditional country.

Young Love & Saturday Nights Tracklist:

  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

Country Swag Picks:

  1. What She Sees in Me
  2. Don’t Call Me
  3. Fall Out
  4. Country Boy’s Prayer
  5. Knee Deep in Neon

Chris Young’s new album, ‘Young Love & Saturday Nights’ is out now on all streaming platforms.

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Young Love & Saturday Nights  is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.