One Of The Voices Of Modern Country Doesn’t Sound Too Shabby On Fun Album ‘All of It’

taylor
Written by taylor
/ 8 mins read

I’m usually pretty disappointed by Modern Country, dissatisfied with easy hooks and easy notes, yet there is something about Cole Swindell that works for me, or rather – his Pop gets the job done and therefore I can totally understand his appeal with new generations of Country fans. I totally could raise a can of beer with the rest of the party to his music, and sometimes, that’s all that really matters. What is interesting about this album is that it opens with exactly the generic type of music I dislike, and I might have turned it off if it weren’t for track 2 making me stay. Cole Swindell wants “All of It” on the second tune and the album’s title track – where the vocals are tender, even if the lyrics are a little blunt. “I wanna see you in a pair of cut off jeans”, Swindell croons, as honorably as he can muster. The banjo syncopates softly and other acoustic guitars play in cyclical pattens, as the drum hits slam, creating a nice Soft Rock atmosphere. I don’t like how many words Swindell tries to dish out in the each stanza, where it would have been better to space things out for more emotional resonance and sexual tension. Still, already I was hearing progress.

Have Yourself A Rockin’ Good Time With An Anthem Or Two

“Somebodies Been Drinkin” lays the drawl on thick over a very satisfying melody with explosive instrumentation. The melody line is one of those types that just begs for audience participation, and tracks like these are infectious numbers at the local watering hole. The words are intriguing, as Swindell incorporates text messages into the lyrics, and basically agrees to rendezvous with the drunk girl calling; “somebody's been drinkin' and got to thinkin' 'bout us / it's just the Cherry Bombs talkin' when you're hittin' me up.” He is down to accommodate her, even if perhaps they are not a real item anymore, because he himself is drunk off some Grey Goose and could use some company around his backyard fire pit. All in all, this is great Pop songwriting with some real Rock edge. Even louder electric Rock energy accompanies a huge dance song on “Sounded Good Last Night”, and this track is my favorite on All of It, as it makes me feel like one of Cole Swindell’s friends going along for the ride, as he recounts a wild night out where the possibilities are endless. The lyrics are clever and honest – since whatever sounded like a good idea last night, from drinking to almost brawling to playing real loud music – actually hurts in the morning – yet the song is definitely upbeat to the point where the hangover is a small price to pay. The lyrics are funny, and Swindell sounds like a real fun character; “Jack Daniel's got a jackhammer pounding on my mind / is that my ex's 4-runner backing out the drive/ what I told her must've sounded good last night.”

Not Just A Pop Rocker, Swindell The Ballads Explore Swindell’s Sentimentality

Thoughts of missing someone creep into the fun-loving atmosphere, where Cole Swindell is still wrestling with the pros and cons of an ex on “Break Up in the End.” He admits on this very touching ballad that ‘she’ is his best and worst mistake, yet he still has enough feelings for her that he wouldn’t change a thing about their past. He even admits that she is the one that got away, which must be the reason why he can look at the past so lovingly. I really like the way the notes are played out – pretty and original, as Swindell’s voice ascends up and then down wistfully. “I’ll Be Your Small Town” has its moments, and therefore I am half in love with the melody and rhythm here. I find the first part of the hook is a bit generic, but somehow everything gets better on the line “you can go when you know that it's all spinning too fast / slow kinda road, thirty-five on the dash / that dot on the map for your heart when you need to slow down / you'll be my whole world, I'll be your small town.” Would have been great to find more interesting notes to use here and there, but the homeyness of the lyrics should really warm the heart of people who like the country lifestyle, and even for a city-dweller like myself, I can get into the charming notion of feeling connected to a small town – and this is what Swindell’s ‘love’ will equate to if she accepts it fully. On “The Ones Who Got Me Here”, I like the piano playing with it’s reverb and also the moody electric guitar playing. I find it sometimes funny when Hip Hop vernacular gets adopted in to Country, with Swindell over emphasizing the line “all the haters, all the lovers / all the friends that are more like brothers”, but on a serious note, this anthem ballad seems to represent a thank you to all the people and events that helped Swindell become the success he is today. It is quite an exhaustive list reading though, and I feel more focus could have been applied, instead of naming everything under the sun and their contributions.

Nostalgia Continues, And Then We Pick Up The Party One More Time Before Reality Hits Home

“20 in a Chevy” walks the line between sounding dope and sounding cringy to me. That tends to be a reoccurring theme with Swindell’s music, and especially on the very modern Country Pop tracks. This is not really a song, but more of a simple-noted mood, relying overly on Trap effects and volume. I didn’t care much for the hook either, that for some reason wants to exude a sexual and idealized attitude, but is actually to my ears kind of a week choice for a descriptor. Not to mention until you read the actual lyrics of the bridge, you will not understand what the hell it means to do ‘20 in a Chevy.’ I’m over here scratching my head like ‘so they are cruising really really slow down a 2 lane road – and that’s the sexiest speed to drive at?’ The bridge illuminates things for me; “yeah, we were twenty in a Chevy on a two lane / the windows fogged up in the hard rain / how the hell did we have such a good thing / and let it slip away / we let it slip away like / all the people I ain't seen in too many years.” This song is actually about nostalgia, and even a little regret. Two more songs about drinking present themselves in very similar fashion – “Reason to Drink” in a slightly more rockin’ anthemic style, and “Her” in what seems like a shuffling of the same notes, and certainly the same concussive beat style. My money is on “Reason to Drink”, the better of the two. Another rockin’ song “ takes after the much more classic sounds of Southern Rock – and though it has its good ol’ boy twang to it, its sound is also heavily inspired by R&B Blues with a little funkiness added in to keep the dancers moving on the floor. It reminds me of the sexy playfulness associated with the throwback Joe Cocker track “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” I would have loved to continue in this spirit but alas, the album closes on a pretty sad note – the deep and emotional song “Dad’s Old Number”, where Swindell uses clever wordplay and a compelling scenario to express to the world how much he misses his dead father; “I'm sorry ma'am, don't hang up, nah / I ain't selling nothing / I don't know what I was thinking when I called / I guess I wasn't / yeah, I was just down on my luck / having some trouble with this old truck / and the guy that used to pick up / he could fix anything.” Songs like these either hit home, or will eventually hit home for us all, and through Swindell’s telling, I feel his personality coming through, as he apologizes for dialing, yet needs to talk to someone, even this stranger, because he is still disoriented and sad about not having his ‘go-to’ person to relate to. Through highs and lows, I personally I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed this Modern Country album.

2. Track List (12)

3. Official (12)

4. Live (5)

5. Featuring Remixes

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8. Similar Artists (18)

9. Album Info

About

All of It is the third studio album by American country music singer Cole Swindell. It was released on August 17, 2018 via Warner Bros. Records Nashville. The album includes the singles "Break Up in the End" and "Love You Too Late" as well as several songs written by Swindell, Michael Carter, and outside writers.
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Songwriter

  • Cole Swindell

Label

  • Warner Nashville

Producer

  • Michael Carter