Ernest: ‘Flower Shops (The Album)’ – Album Review

Ernest’s full-length album, Flower Shops (The Album) is out now, March 11th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the new album below.

One of Big Loud’s biggest songwriters, Ernest Keith Smith (known professionally as ERNEST) has penned number-one hits for artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Chris Lane, Morgan Wallen, Sam Hunt, and Kane Brown but now is working on his career as a singer and performer. Since signing with Big Loud in 2019, ERNEST has released a nine-track album called Locals Only and a few singles including “American Rust,” but has predominantly focused his craft on songwriting. Following the success of his collaboration with Wallen, “Flower Shops,” which skyrocketed to #1 on iTunes, Apple Music Country, and Spotify Country upon its release and currently sits in the top-25 on country radio, he decided to turn it into a full album. 

“It’s a very good feeling to have this body of work ready to share with the world,” he said in a recent press release. “It feels like there’s a shift happening in country music and the people want to hear more honesty in songs, and with honesty comes pain – sometimes we need to feel that too. I hope this project provides a little sepia tone world for the listener to escape to and go on a journey of their own…feeling everything from love to lost.”

Like he said, the major themes on this record are love and heartbreak. It tells the story of a relationship that almost wasn’t in a much more country-sounding manner than he is used to, sprinkling steel guitar all over this album. It was entirely co-written by ERNEST, with collaborators from other major Nashville-writers Ashley Gorley, The Warren Brothers, Rodney Clawson, Mark Holman, Ryan Vojtesak, and label-mates Ben Burgess and Lily Rose. 

While most of the tracks are slow or mid-tempo, it starts with the upbeat, very descriptive “Sucker For Small Towns.” ERNEST sings about how this girl persuaded him to get into a relationship by showing him all around her two-lane town. Its catchy lyrics like “fool for a full moon, you sure set the right mood” make it fun for listeners to sing along to. The other upbeat track, “Did It With You,” sounds like the follow-up to the former. ERNEST mentions how much he misses this girl and how driving down these roads feels much different without her next to him in the shotgun seat. 

“If You Were Whiskey” is a much more melancholy break-up song. While drinking at a bar, he realizes that if his ex was more like Jack Daniels, he’d be a much happier man.

“But if you were whiskey, it looks like I’d still have you right here with me // and I’d be getting a different kind of tipsy, instead of sitting here sipping number seven all night long // But if you were whiskey, I’d still be holding you and we’d still be going strong”

Love and gratitude is expressed in the next three tracks. “Tennessee Queen” tells the classic story of not having a lot, but having all you need. ERNEST makes a lot of Elvis Presley references in the song including mentions of “Graceland” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “All Shook Up,” “Hunk of Burning Love,” “Love Me Tender” and “feeling like a King.” ERNEST mixes in his R&B influence in “Classic”—a tune about staying in with a girl and a record player instead of hitting the town. “Comfortable When I’m Crazy” is his most vulnerable track on the project. He addresses a former alcohol and drug addiction, describing it as having “neon demons.” It was the only way he felt comfortable with himself until his met the person who changed his entire perspective on life.

“It’s always lonely after midnight, getting what I want not what I need // I’m only comfortable when I’m crazy // Girl, look what you made me do to me”

“Feet Wanna Run” portrays the life of a touring artist—constantly conflicted between staying home with the ones you love or hitting the road and chasing your dream. 

ERNEST shies away from the simple acoustic production towards the end of the record on “What It’s Comes To” and “Some Other Bar.” In the latter, the man in the song meets someone that really piques his interest, however, he does not hear back from her after they say their goodbyes. This gets him wishing on stars hoping that he will see her at some other bar. The eleventh and final track is an acoustic version of “Flower Shops.”

ERNEST will perform his new set to a hometown crowd at back-to-back sold-out shows headlining Nashville’s famed Exit/In on March 21 and 22. Until then, he will remain on the road supporting Chris Lane’s FILL THEM BOOTS tour with Lily Rose including a stop at New York City’s Irving Plaza this Sunday, March 13th. For tickets, head to his website.

Flower Shops (The Album) Tracklist:

  1. “Sucker for Small Towns” (Ernest Keith Smith, Jacob Durrett, Ashley Gorley)
  2.  “Tennessee Queen” (Ernest Keith Smith, Dan Isbell, Jordan Schmidt)
  3. “Classic” (Ernest Keith Smith, Jacob Durrett)
  4. “Feet Wanna Run” (Ernest Keith Smith, Chris LaCorte, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
  5. “Comfortable When I’m Crazy” (Ernest Keith Smith, Rodney Clawson)
  6. “Flower Shops” feat. Morgan Wallen (Ernest Keith Smith, Ben Burgess, Mark Holman)
  7. “Did It With You” (Ernest Keith Smith, Rodney Clawson, Nathan Spicer)
  8. “What It’s Come To” (Ernest Keith Smith, Lily Rose, Ryan Vojtesak)
  9. “If You Were Whiskey” (Ernest Keith Smith, Michael Carter, Ben Hayslip)
  10. “Some Other Bar” (Ernest Keith Smith, Ashley Gorley, Ryan Vojtesak)
  11. “Flower Shops” (feat. Morgan Wallen) [Acoustic] (Ernest Keith Smith, Ben Burgess, Mark Holman)

Ernest’s album ‘Flower Shops (The Album)’ is officially out now!

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

To keep up with ERNEST, follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Flower Shops (The Album) 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.