Album Review: Chris Young’s ‘Losing Sleep’
Chris Young’s smooth baritone makes him one of the most distinctive voices in today’s country music and his memorable vocals captivate throughout the entirety of his new album, Losing Sleep. The singer co-produced the project with frequent collaborator Corey Crowder and had a hand in penning each of the album’s 10 tracks, making for one of his most diverse releases.
Two years after the massive success of 2015’s I’m Comin’ Over, Young continues to push genre boundaries with Losing Sleep. Where I’m Comin’ Over was a glimpse into Young’s forward-thinking production skills with drum loops and R&B influence throughout, Losing Sleep ups the ante. Lead single and title track “Losing Sleep” is just one example with its slick beats and Young’s rhythmic singing style. A sultry song about staying up all night with one’s significant other, this is only the beginning of Young’s steamy storylines.
Young excels on the sexy songs as can be heard time and time again throughout Losing Sleep. On “Hangin’ On,” he croons about a girl who has him smitten and tongue-tied. Written by Young, Crowder and Josh Hoge, the clever lyric is a wordplay for everything Young is hanging onto at the start of the relationship. “I’m hangin’ on, hangin’ on / To every word you say, every move you make / I’m hangin’ on, hangin’ on / Wondering what’s up next, girl, I can’t wait / Ain’t nothing like spinning you around the room where everyone can see / You hangin’ on, hangin’ on to me,” he sings on the chorus.
“Radio and the Rain” continues the seductive storyline with a tale of two backseat lovers embracing while a thunderstorm rumbles outside. The anthemic track suits Young’s deep vocals well and the descriptive lyrics paint the perfect picture for the listener. Meanwhile, the urban flair of “Leave Me Wanting More” showcases Young’s capability at a fast-paced lyric. On the song, Young begs his girl to cancel their dinner plans for more alone time. “You look good in any light / You’re gonna leave me breathless / Even if we never walk out that door / We don’t gotta leave this room for you to leave me wanting more,” he sings.
While Young is good with the come-on’s he also emotes extremely well on the heartbreak numbers. Standout songs “Where I Go When I Drink” and album closer “Blacked Out” showcase the singer’s power as a vocalist. Both piano ballads, the descriptive lyrics have Young struggling after a breakup. On “Where I Go When I Drink” Young sings of being at the end of his driveway watching an ex’s taillights fade into the distance as she drives away, leaving their relationship behind. “My heart needs time to get over you and me / And that’s where I go when I drink,” he says on the stripped down track. Later, on “Blacked Out,” he finds himself doing shots in hopes of forgetting a girl’s memory. “I won’t lie, it hurts like hell / So I’m doin’ shots just tryin’ to deal,” he laments. The light string accompaniment and his soft vocals only further his sadness.
Though his voice excels best on the ballads, Young shows his playful side on several tracks, too. On the laidback summer jam “Holiday,” written while in Florida, Young sings of how his lady makes every day feel like a holiday. “I don’t need to pack a bag / I don’t need a travel agent / Islands look cool on a map / But can’t beat my location / ‘Cause when you smile at me that’s all the sunshine I need / Any place, any time, any day of the week,” he sings.
Meanwhile, on the radio friendly “She’s Got A Way” he sings of how his late night bar-hopping days are over now that he’s met someone. “She’s a different kinda party / She’s a different kinda watching that sun come up / Staying in on Friday nights now / I get an even better buzz,” he sings on the upbeat number. A song that will no doubt excel in the live setting, Young showcases that his party side is fun, too.
On Losing Sleep, Young continues to prove his staying power as a fan of traditional country by combining it with a modern day flair. At ease on the ballads and the upbeat tracks, no singing style is difficult for the vocalist as he effortlessly croons on the heartbreak numbers as well as the more rhythmic tracks. An album that embraces diversity, Chris Young’s Losing Sleep continues to push the singer musically while maintaining the sound fans know and love from the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.