Tyler Hubbard: ‘Strong’ – Album Review

Tyler Hubbard releases his brand new album, Strong, out now, April 12th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the new project here.

For Tyler Hubbard, much of his sophomore album, Strong, was inspired by Keith Urban. The former Florida Georgia Line frontman spent months touring with the Aussie superstar while writing this project and honing his craft. “We were watching him play every night, and his live show is just high energy, fun and a great time,” shares Hubbard. “We wanted to write songs good enough to make Keith jealous (laughs).”

Of the album’s thirteen tracks, Hubbard wrote or co-wrote all of them, while also co-producing alongside Jordan Schmidt. For the EMI Nashville artist, the album represents a natural growth and solidification of his sound as a solo artist. Here, he examines themes of love, loss, heartbreak, nostalgia, and celebrating life.

The album opens with “Wish You Would,” an 80’s-tinted mid-tempo that was crafted purely with a good time in mind. Written as a live show opener, the track also makes the perfect album opener, as Hubbard implores someone to  “Be my up all nighter and my morning light, be my shotgun rider, my every Sunday drive.”

Of the track, he reveals, “We were aiming for something fun with a fresh sound and a little different – channeling a show-opener type of vibe. This song was just a natural, fun song, and not much of it changed from the demo to the studio, which is always great.”

That type of vibe is prevalent throughout the album, weaving its way through songs like the semi-autobiographical “Park,” “A Lot With a Little,” and “Night Like That.” The latter was specifically crafted with a live show in mind, and the result is the perfect party starter. “It’s now just one of those songs where you want to hear it on a Friday night — just get the party started and set the mood right,” shares Hubbard in a statement. “We’ve all been there and just needed a night like that in some form or fashion.”

Hubbard also taps into themes of nostalgia and longing for simpler times throughout Strong, evident on song like “Back Then Right Now,” “American Mellencamp,” “Summer Talkin’” and “Take Me Back.” While “Summer Tallkin’’ is an ode to a fleeting summer romance, “Back Then Right Now” finds him dreaming of simpler times and feeling nostalgic for his younger days. “Back then, it was simple, it was slow,” He muses. “We didn’t worry ‘bout what we didn’t know.”

“Take Me Back” is a clever mid-tempo love song to his hometown. While Hubbard admits that he left there at a young age, it’s his hometown that made him who he is, and he hopes they can forgive him, their prodigal son.

“I think about you when a summer rain falls // I sing about you when I’m writin’ these songs //  Didn’t forget about you for a minute // I know I hurt you and it hurts to admit It // I hate that I left you without a goodbye // Would you forgive me, give it one more try // Do I stand a chance if I ever come back around // Would you take me back, hometown?”

The introspective singer-songwriter also takes things down a more personal route with “‘73 Beetle,” a song he considers a continuation to “Miss My Daddy.” Hubbard wrote the song about his deceased father and one of their favorite pastimes. “This song is written about a really personal part of my life. It’s part of one of the things my dad and I loved to do together,” he shares. “I still have that car – that ‘73 beetle. It’s not completely finished, but it’s close. Every line is a true story in this song. And, it’s the only song on this album I wrote solely by myself.”

“Vegas” is a fun standout, a whimsical take on love at first sight that has Hubbard prepared to take a girl to Vegas and wife her up immediately. Meanwhile, “BNA” is another standout with its sunny instrumentation that allows the Georgia native to experiment with a new sound. He admits that the goal of the airport-inspired tune was to have an “80s/1975 undertone vibe” and that the super catchy tune does just that.

The album closes with its titular track, a lyrical representation of Hubbard’s love for his wife, Hayley. “It’s kind of a cool way to express that in a country boy-type of way. There’s something powerful about talking about the strength of the things I touch on in the song, but ultimately, it’s how I have felt since the beginning with her,” he shares.

In addition to representing his relationship with his wife, Hubbard admits that “Strong” is a true representation of this LP and his career at the moment. “It represents the overall project and where I am. It’s also how I’m feeling. And, hopefully, it helps and encourages others to kind of channel their inner strength in a way that can be fun. We are all probably a lot stronger than we think. Yes, it has multiple layers, but I do love the heart behind this song…I’m glad this made the record, and I’m so glad this song is going to get to live in a live show.”

Strong Tracklist:

  1. Wish You Would (Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder and Chris LaCorte)
  2. Park (Tyler Hubbard, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley and Canaan Smith)
  3. A Lot With A Little (Tyler Hubbard, Casey Brown and Parker Welling)
  4. Night Like That  (Tyler Hubbard, Andy Albert and Jordan Schmidt)
  5. Take Me Back (Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder and Chris LaCorte)
  6. Back Then Right Now (Tyler Hubbard, Jessie Jo Dillon, David Garcia and Geoff Warburton)
  7. Vegas (Tyler Hubbard, Andy Albert and Jordan Schmidt)
  8. Turn (Tyler Hubbard, Casey Brown and Josh Miller)
  9. American Mellencamp (Tyler Hubbard, Jaren Johnston and Jordan Schmidt)
  10. BNA (Tyler Hubbard, Chase McGill and Jordan Schmidt)
  11. Summer Talkin’ (Tyler Hubbard, Jessie Jo Dillon, Jesse Frasure and Ashley Gorley)
  12. ‘73 Beetle (Tyler Hubbard)
  13. Strong (Tyler Hubbard, Matt Dragstrem and Josh Miller)

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Take Me Back
  2. BNA
  3. Vegas
  4. Strong

Tyler Hubbard saures his brand new album, ‘Strong,’ 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 future Tyler Hubbard releases.

This summer, Hubbard will be hitting the road with Kane Brown’s In The Air Tour. For tour dates and more, visit his website here.

To keep up with Tyler Hubbard, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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