The title of Florida Georgia Line’s new album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country is more of a statement than it is a phrase, as the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley honor their country roots across 19 tracks.
The release of the bouncy, banjo-heavy lead single “Simple” served as a strong indication of the project’s overall sound that opens with the lively title track, a country anthem that has them proudly waving the flag for the country lifestyle. This element is integral to the album, as they continue to exude confidence in their roots on the rowdy “Y’all Boys” and “Small Town” that takes listeners on a John Deere tractor, basking in the summer sun and blazing down an old dirt road. No song better demonstrates their southern pride than the anthemic “Can’t Hide Red,” as they call on Jason Aldean to help proclaim that they no matter how far one ventures from their hometown, their roots will always be a part of their identity.
Though the album is mostly comprised of upbeat tunes, the sentimental ballad “Women” is a refreshing change of pace where Hubbard and Kelley’s voices shine alongside duet partner Jason Derulo as they harmoniously sing about the impactful women in their lives. It’s one of the most humble moments on the album as they express gratefulness in lyrics “learn more with every hand you holdin,’ just to get you ready for the one that’s right…women, beautiful women, we’re all better off with ‘em right by our side.” They carry this thoughtfulness into “People Are Different,” an unassuming song that finds the duo acknowledging a diverse range of people, encouraging acceptance and tolerance across all lifestyles from income levels to geographic differences. They close the album on a down-to-earth note with “Blessings,” a reflective ballad that sounds like a love letter dedicated to their wives, recognizing how they bring out the best in their character while sharing thankfulness for the beauty in the life they’ve built.
Can’t Say I Ain’t Country mainly follows the FGL formula, one that stands on a foundation of feel-good party songs. But this time, they’re steadfast in using music as a way to resist those who try to deny their place in country music. Fans of the duo’s previous work will likely appreciate Can’t Say I Ain’t Country, not only for its celebration of country life, but the honest messages that tell the story of those who identify with it.