Was breaking up actually easy in the 90’s? Country artist Sam Hunt believes so, as he wrote a whole song about it on his newest album that was released on April 3rd. Many country fans are grateful for the ray of sunshine that is this album for two reasons: 1) There has been a bit of a drought in the country music world, as entertainers are postponing tours and recordings until the quarantine has subsided, 2) This is Hunt’s first album since his debut album Montevallo was released six years ago in 2014.
The Georgia native has a perfect two-for-two record for topping the country albums charts. Hunt’s album, titled SOUTHSIDE, features twelve songs, including his singles “Body Like a Back Road” (2017) and “Kinfolks” (2019).
SOUTHSIDE is also comprised of several new sung-spoken tunes. Earlier this year, Hunt released a play-on-words song about an ex that is playing “Hard to Forget.” Listeners were a bit taken aback at the beginning of this song, as it features the country song “There Stands the Glass” by Webb Pierce (1953). It may sound strange, but Hunt adds an upbeat percussion line that ties both of the songs together. Greenville University junior Ryan Taylor said, “When this song first came out, I wasn’t too sure about it because it was so different. It grew on me after a while.” “Hard to Forget” is sitting in the Top 10 country songs at #5.
Another new song on this album is titled “Young Once.” This is a flashback song that tells about the antics of a young couple in a country town. The message is that if there are fewer exciting things in their adult lives, at least they were able to have fun while they were young. This song was made for your “windows-down drive in the summer” playlist.
Hiding deep in the list at track #11 is a gem of a sad country song called “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90’s.” Hunt describes the difficulty of a breakup in the modern age of technology and social media, as opposed to a little over two decades ago when Facebook and Instagram did not exist. Listeners will probably find that they relate to this song more than they would like to.
Brooke Benedict, a music business major at GU and country music enthusiast, gave a few comments about the new album. “[On a scale of 1-10], I’d give the album a 6. Personally, I like Montevallo better, but the new album is still good. It compares to Montevallo in the sense that the album has its fair share of upbeat songs with that hip-hop backing track beat.” Benedict recommends the songs “Kinfolks” and “Downtown’s Dead” for listeners, as those are her favorites.
According to The Rolling Stone, Hunt is planning to start the SOUTHSIDE tour on July 10th.