Parker McCollum: ‘Never Enough’ Album Review
Parker McCollum shares his new album, Never Enough, officially out now, May 12th on all streaming platforms. Learn more and listen to the new album below.
Texas native Parker McCollum is ready to brush off any mentions of the sophomore slump with his second album, Never Enough, out now. On the follow up to 2021’s Gold Chain Cowboy, McCollum enlisted Jon Randall (Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley) to produce the project, which features fifteen new songs, all but one co-written by the rising superstar.
Co-writers on the project include the likes of Randy Rogers, Brett James, Ryan Beavers, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Ashley Gorley, and many other heavy hitters. By pairing Texan honesty with brilliant lyrics and traditional country instrumentation, the MCA Nashville artist further flexes his musical muscles on Never Enough.
Throughout the LP, McCollum explores the classic themes of love and heartache through the lens of a country purist that is often lacking in today’s modern scene. “What I do best is write songs from a very real place and sing country music, but also be very ‘me’ and not try to sound like someone else,” He says in a statement. “We definitely did that on this record and every one of the 15 songs sounds different.”
The album opens with “Hurricane,” a song that blows in to set the stage for the album, roaring in with electric guitars and catchy lyrics. Here, McCollum likens a woman to a storm, blowing into a man’s life and leaving it in shambles, proclaiming, “Someday she’s gonna get her name on a hurricane.”
Similarly, “Burn It Down” sounds like a surefire hit, with its dark lyrics and musicality, as he stands in the ashes of a relationship that has gone up in flames. Co-penned with the Love Junkies, the track came from McCollum simply repeating the words “burn it down.” “Some days are like that, where the melody and the idea for the song is so good and everybody is on the same page,” he says. “If you’re talking about moving the needle in my career, ‘Burn It Down’ is probably going to be the song.”
“Handle On You” has already moved the needle as one of the singer-songwriter’s biggest hits to date and his third number one. While he admits to being shocked the song was radio worthy, he was thrilled for its success. “That song is a nod to some of the great records I grew up with,” McCollum reveals. “A lot of radio songs nowadays are kind of bubble-gummy. I don’t have any problem with pop-country, but I’d like to hear a little more classic country too.”
Interestingly, one of the album’s most poignant moments comes in the form of “Things I Never Told You,” the sole song not co-written by McCollum. On the stirring, piano-driven ballad, he shows his vulnerable side with an introspective ode to his mother. While he may not have written the song, he immediately felt connected to its stunning lyrics and message. “When I moved away from home // I didn’t realize how much I’d miss ya,” he sings. “A phone call don’t take the place // Of your smilin’ face cooking in that kitchen.”
Another poignant moment comes during “Lessons from an Old Man,” which is a powerful country ballad about the things a young boy can learn from an older man in his life. While it’s unclear exactly who McCollum is referencing on the sweet track, it’s likely about a grandfather or grandfatherly figure who helped to shape him into the man he is today, as he sings about the “lessons from an old man” that “made a young man wise.”
“It ain’t all about money // But money is nice // There’s nothing wrong with whiskey // Just keep Sundays dry,” He sings introspectively. “There’s making a living and there’s making a life”
McCollum continues to show his softer side on songs like “Best I Never Had,” “Stoned,” “Tails I Do” and “Tough People Do.” While “Best” finds him wondering about what could’ve been, “Tough” has him reassuring his love that they’ll get through the tough times together. Meanwhile, both “Stoned” and the barstool ballad, “Tails I Lose” find him drowning his sorrows in different ways.
“I cry when it’s raining // I cry when it’s dark // I feel like the whole world won’t ever understand my heart,” He drawls of a broken relationship that has broken him on “Stoned.” “That’s the hardest part of being alone, that’s why I stay stoned.”
“Too Tight This Time” is truly a marvel, written in one shot with no edits. The song is simple and sparse, featuring hints of female background vocals. McCollum shares that it’s his favorite track on the LP. “I said, ‘Let’s pour this thing out and whatever it is in 15 minutes, that’s what it’s going to be forever.’ I love to write songs like that and live with the end result. This one was easy to do because the melody was so good,” he says. “The line ‘There must be something broken inside this lonely man’ just hits so hard.”
Likewise, “Have Your Heart Again” is a simple piano-led track that allows him to flex his vocal cords. Here, he longs for someone to take him back, while “Don’t Blame Me” is a catchy tune where he’ll accept blame for a lot, but not everything. “You can swear it’s all my fault // And I won’t blame you if you do // But don’t blame me,” He sings. “Don’t blame me // Don’t blame me for loving you.” Lastly, the album concludes with “Wheel,” a celebratory romp that finds McCollum challenging someone to make him stop rolling. “Good luck slowing me down.”
On Never Enough, Parker McCollum makes a statement that he’s a solid songwriter and artist who’s here to stay. “Sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much because everything would be easier. Hopefully one day people will look back at what I’ve done in country music and think it was honest and good for the genre,” He says. “This album may be called Never Enough, but if they see that what I did was real, that’ll be enough for me.”
Never Enough Track List:
- Hurricane (Parker McCollum, David Lee Murphy, Jon Randall, Randy Rogers)
- Best I Never Had (Parker McCollum, Will Bundy, Brett James)
- Things I Never Told You (Monty Criswell, Lynn Hutton, Taylor Phillips)
- Burn It Down (Parker McCollum, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
- Stoned (Parker McCollum, Mark Holman, Brett James)
- Handle On You (Parker McCollum, Monty Criswell)
- Lessons From An Old Man (Parker McCollum, Lori McKenna, Lee Miller, Jon Randall, Liz Rose)
- Tough People Do (Parker McCollum, Brett James, Jon Randall)
- Speed (Parker McCollum, Ryan Beaver)
- Tails I Lose (Parker McCollum, Wade Bowen, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
- I Ain’t Going Nowhere (Parker McCollum, Lori McKenna, Lee Miller, Jon Randall, Liz Rose)
- Too Tight This Time (Parker McCollum, Brett James, Jon Randall)
Country Swag Picks:
- Burn It Down
- Things I Never Told You
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Never Enough 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.