It’s no secret that I generally have some pretty biting criticism for Country Pop as a genre, as it is so handcuffed to these rather annoying Pop conventions such as copycats hooks and notes, yet at the same time, when these conventions are handled with the right amount of care, I can easily be swept up by such formulas. Cole Swindell is one of the few Country Pop Artists that continues to win me over with both his carefree party numbers and also his ballads that have a hell of a lot of heart. Honestly, even if I know where such music is going by the time I’m a quarter into the track, I for some reason totally stick around and even sing along to karaoke ready anthems because Swindell has a very charismatic vocal quality. His is a rough timbre and his drawl is definitely one of the more present drawls out there, yet never does he sound like a caricature – in fact, it is Swindell’s authentic sounding voice that I am really buying. Albums and voices and instrumentations like these put me at ease and I tend to let my critical guard down and just go with the flow on these songs which won’t win any awards in my book, but certainly make me understand how the newer generation of Country music lovers feel about their scene. Swindell’s music is simple, relatable here and there, and enjoyable for me when I don’t listen too intently to the lyrics - I prefer to vicariously latch on to the moods being created. Still, listening to song after song about missed connections or a fear of not making enough of an impression on a girl can be a bit of a drag, as I am hearing more confidence issues than chivalry at play, raising my eyebrows each time a rather clueless passage is uttered.