Album Review: Morgan Evans’ Things That We Drink To

There’s a youthful, vibrant spirit that runs throughout album in a way that feels celebratory.

Written by Cillea Houghton
Album Review: Morgan Evans’ <em><noscript><img class=
Morgan Evans; Photo courtesy of Warner Music Nashville

Morgan Evans was already a star in his native Australia when he crossed two oceans to bring his talents to America. He begins a new life chapter by taking his life experience and turning it into 11 personal songs on his new album, Things That We Drink To.

There’s a youthful, vibrant spirit that runs throughout album in a way that feels celebratory. You feel this on the opening track “American,” a song that turns his coast-to-coast exploration of the place he calls his new home into lyrics, from the red sunset in California to the streets of New Orleans, all expressed over a sunny pop-country melody. This same energy is present on “We Dream” where Evans calls on a chorus of singers to help him share the message that no matter what corner of the world you live in, we all use our dreams to break out of the constrictions placed upon us. “When we look at the world and we don’t like what we see, we close our eyes and we dream,” he chants.

On the title track, “Things That We Drink To,” Evans digs deeper, co-penning a reflective track that was inspired in part by the sudden death of his friend and manager Rob Potts, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2017. Evans uses the song as a way to raise a tall glass to his friend, the memories he’s looking back on and all the life he’s lived in between, offering enough conviction to drive home the emotion. Another pristine track comes in the form of “Dance With Me,” which features gentle background vocals from his wife, Kelsea Ballerini and feels like the most personal moment on the album. Evans doesn’t add any flash to the sweet song, letting the honesty in their voices tell the story. “Feel my heart beat through your body to your feet, if you dance with me, hold me in the dark now until both your eyes can see,” they sing beautifully in harmony.

He rounds out the album with the equally romantic “I Do” and career-establishing hit single, “Kiss Somebody.”

Though Evans constructs Things That We Drink To with common topics frequently used in country songs, he does a sound job of taking these notions and making them feel like his own. From the earnest title track to the thoughtfulness of “Dance With Me,” Evans uses the project as a way to show his growing fanbase what he’s capable of achieving – and they’re bound to want to continue growing alongside him.