Dustin Lynch: ‘Killed The Cowboy’ Album Review

Dustin Lynch’s brand new album, Killed The Cowboy is out now, September 29th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the new music below.

“Everybody wanna know where did all the cowboys go?” Dustin Lynch asks on the first line of his new studio album, Killed the Cowboy, out now. For the 38-year-old Tennessee native, his sixth studio album marks a crossroads for the singer-songwriter, one of country music’s remaining hat-wearing crooners. 

Lynch co-wrote five of the LP’s 12 tracks, enlisting the likes of mega hitmakers like Devin Dawson, Jessi Alexander, Jordan Reynolds, Jameson Rodgers, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley, and more to also lend their talents. The result is arguably Lynch’s most interesting and sonically cohesive album to date.

“When I’m off the road and working on my farm, I have a lot of inner dialogue. It’s a boxing match inside of me, between living in the moment and enjoying where I am, versus what’s the best version of me five, 10, or 20 years down the road,” Lynch explains in a statement. “What do I want to be? What do I want life to look like? Who do I want to be around? Killed The Cowboy is that back-and-forth. It’s me asking myself, ‘Am I okay? Or am I weird for not having found my person yet? And is she even out there?’ My hope is that this album finds someone who needs to hear it. I want Killed The Cowboy to embrace the single people of the world and lift them up, to let them know that you don’t have to live a ‘normal’ life to still be happy in your own skin.”

The album opens with that title track, a darker and more mysterious sound for Lynch, who blames a “girl like you” for breaking his cowboy heart. “When I first heard ‘Killed The Cowboy,’ I was drawn to its haunting melody, and then I got to thinking about the lyric and realized, ‘Damn, I’m this guy right now in my life,’” adds Lynch. “Relationships can come in hot and heavy and then implode. But that heartbreak, in a weird way, also makes you feel alive, to have another person move you like that. You feel that roller coaster of emotion and passion, and that sparks me creatively as an artist.” 

“Honky Tonk Heartbreaker” is a surefire hit, a catchy and earwormy pop country gem about a girl that’s sure to break some hearts. “I think she might be a honky tonk heartbreaker // She’s gonna hurt somebody up in this bar // I think she might be a honky tonk heartbreaker,” He croons over the addictive medley. “Lucky for me, I got a honky tonk heart.”

“Chevrolet” features Jelly Roll, and adds new lyrics to Dobie Gray’s classic melody on “Drift Away.” “There is something in the air in Nashville right now, where writers are on the same wavelength and doing cool things like interpolating classic songs into something new,” Lynch said in a statement. “When ‘Chevrolet’ came across our plate, it floored me. Everyone knows Dobie Gray’s ‘Drift Away’ – the melody of that song is timeless. Having Jelly Roll on it adds an extra edge.”

“Just gimme a dirt road, the windows down // Wanna get lost on the edge of town // In your Chevrolet // She said gimme a six-pack, some Brooks & Dunn // If you want a country girl you just found one // Let’s step away, yeah // In your Chevrolet”

Meanwhile, songs like “George Strait Jr,” “Only Girl in this Town,” and the radio-ready “Trouble With This Truck” are the kind of modern country Lynch is best known for, with the latter being a stellar breakup track. “It’s like I drove it off the showroom floor,” He sings of a truck that’s just a bit empty. “Only trouble with this truck, she ain’t in it no more.”

There’s the introspective “If I Stop Drinkin’,” which finds Lynch lonely at the bottom of a bottle, while “Blue Lights” is dark and moody, comparing escaping memories of an ex to trying to outrun the law. “Trying to outrun your memory is like trying to outrun blue lights,” He muses on “Lights,” while he cleverly spins lyrics on “Breakin’ Up Down,” lamenting “We got breakin’ up down.”

Lynch slows things down on songs like “Listen to the Radio” and “Lone Star,” which finds him smoothly moving on and approaching someone special in a bar. Meanwhile, “Listen to the Radio” embraces a familiar trend in country music, as he name-drops other songs when a girl suggests they turn up the radio.

“I think we should listen to the radio // Turn it up and let it tell us where to go // Sit out underneath an Amarillo sky // Baby take our time // Yeah, I already got one bottle of wine and two dixie cups // Ain’t goin’ down ‘til the sun goes up // Do a little kiss me in the dark // Add a couple stars where the cool grass grows // I think we should listen to the radio”

The album ends with “Long Way Home,” a 90’s-country-inspired two-stepping ballad that allows Lynch to flex his vocal muscles. Here, the cowboy-hatted crooner is realizing that he’s in for a special night if he takes the scenic route, 

“We should probably take the long way home// We should probably take that old dirt road// Steal some minutes from your miles// Some kisses from your smiles// Yeah, I’m thinking we both need some more time alone// We should probably take the long way home”

On Killed the Cowboy, Dustin Lynch does what he does best, but he does it even better than before. While the singer-songwriter may be at a crossroads in his personal life, it’s lent itself to some great new songs, and the cowboy is musically alive and well.

Killed The Cowboy Track List:

  1. Killed The Cowboy (Jordan Reynolds, Devin Dawson, Anderson East)
  2. Honky Tonk Heartbreaker (Dustin Lynch, Hunter Phelps, Zach Crowell, Ben Johnson)
  3. George Strait Jr. (Dustin Lynch, Hunter Phelps, Jordan Reynolds, Andy Albert)*
  4. Chevrolet (feat. Jelly Roll) (Chase McGill, Jessi Alexander, Hunter Phelps, Mentor Williams)
  5. If I Stop Drinkin’” (John Morgan, Dallas Davidson, Kyle Fishman, Jordan Minton)
  6. Only Girl In This Town (Devin Dawson, Josh Thompson, Kyle Fishman)
  7. Breakin’ Up Down (Hunter Phelps, Zach Crowell, Blake Pendergrass, Brent Anderson)
  8. Trouble With This Truck (Dustin Lynch, Hunter Phelps, Ashley Gorley, Zach Crowell)
  9. Blue Lights (Jameson Rodgers, Jake Mitchell, Brent Anderson, Hunter Phelps)
  10. Lone Star (Devin Dawson, Jordan Reynolds, Alysa Vanderheym)
  11. Listen To The Radio (Dustin Lynch, Hunter Phelps, Randy Montana, Ben Johnson)
  12. Long Way Home (Dustin Lynch, Kyle Fishman, Andy Albert)

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Honky Tonk Heartbreaker
  2. If I Stop Drinking
  3. Trouble With This Truck
  4. Listen to the Radio

Dustin Lynch’s new album, ‘Killed The Cowboy’ is out now on all streaming platforms.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Dustin Lynch announcements and releases.

Lynch will head out on his Killed the Cowboy Tour in early 2024. For tour dates and more, click here.

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Killed The Cowboy 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.