Cole Swindell's self-titled debut review

Country music’s front runners today are definitely different from the superstars of years past. With rowdy but romantic crooners like Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, and the duo of Florida Georgia Line currently dominating the scene, it’s hard to imagine how someone could crash their party and belong but newcomer Cole Swindell has done just that. Getting his start by touring with fellow Georgia Southern alum Bryan, originally selling merchandise before signing his own publishing deal and opening for the country singer.

With his leading single, “Chillin’ It,” Swindell has already earned a spot among country’s top artists. As the album’s drop date draws nearer, iTunes released the album early via streaming on their “First Play” radio station for listeners to grab an early earful of the singer’s debut.

Upon first listen, audiences are sure to notice how similar his sound is to mainstream artists like Bryan and Florida Georgia Line - in a good way. Swindell often collaborates and tours with the artists, writing some of country’s current hits with them. “Chillin’ It”, “Brought To You By Beer”, and “Get Up” call back to Bryan’s many Spring Break EP’s with fun, easygoing vibes. Then there’s the album’s latest track: “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight”. It’s a playful tune that will undoubtedly be the anthem at numerous tailgates this year.

But Swindell quickly proves that he’s got more depth than the country pop he’s been pegged under. With “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey”, Swindell gives listeners the perfect blow off song. It’s got a killer guitar solo in the middle that gives the song that edge that distinguishes himself as something other than a boy in shoes too big.

Then comes the sad but sweet “Dozen Roses and a Six Pack”. As he croons over a love that might be lost, Swindell seals the deal of his inclusion in the Country Music Hitmaker’s Club. He’s mastered the art of writing sweet and powerful country ballads, proven by “Dozen Roses” and the heartfelt plea, “I Just Want You”. This is the side of Swindell that has written hits like Craig Campbell’s “Outta My Head” and Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That” and it’s not slowing down any time soon.

Of course, there’s still the whiskey slingin’, good ol’ country boys and Swindell pays tribute to them with songs like “Down Home Boys” and “The Back Roads and The Back Row”, nodding back to his own Georgia roots.

Swindell’s debut album is strong - and it’s hard not to be with his songwriting past. The album is full of songs that anyone can enjoy and he’s well on his way to becoming a mainstream staple among his fellow acts.

The self-titled debut is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon and will be available for purchase on February 18, 2014.

Watch the video for "Chillin' It" below:

Image courtesy of Amazon

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