Chris Young// I’m Comin’ Over

Chris Young is low key enough that if one hadn’t paid attention to the country singles chart or a couple of significant creative developments in Young’s approach to making his current album, “I’m Comin’ Over,” one might think everything was just business as usual for the country artist.

 

The singles chart is notable because the title song from the new album recently held down the number one spot for three weeks, a triumph that would illicit a can-hardly-contain-the-excitement response from many artists.

 

Young is certainly pleased with his latest success, but the

matter-of-fact tone he showed in a recent phone interview lacked the kind of anticipation and urgency – not to mention excitement — one might expect from an artist who looks to be on the verge of arena-headlining stardom. Instead Young sounds self-assured, but humble, and focused on the work that goes into having a successful career.

 

“I don’t think you can get much better than having a number one platinum single as the first single off of the new project,” the affable Young said of the song “I’m Comin’ Over.” “It’s just kind of (about) building upon

that now.”

 

Young has been doing a good job of building momentum for his career over the past half dozen years. His 2006 self-titled debut album stiffed, but “Getting’ You Home (The Black Dress Song),” the second single from his sophomore album, 2009’s “The Man I Want To Be,” became a chart-topping breakthrough hit. Then the title song from that album and a third single, “Voices,” extended the streak of number one singles to three.

 

The Murfreesboro, Tennessee native has been on a roll since. His next two albums, “Neon” (2010) and “A.M.” (2013) added three more number ones to Young’s resume and set the stage for the emphatic run of the “I’m Comin’ Over” single, and the strong debut of the new album (which sold an impressive 57,000 copies in its first week). He then followed that song up with another No. 1 single, “Think Of You,” a duet with Cassadee Pope, and in March saw “Sober Saturday” make it a trio of chart toppers.

It’s not just the chart successes that are a big deal. The “I’m Comin’ Over” album involved some major changes in how Young has made his albums in the past — steps that also suggest he’s confident of his abilities at this point in

his career.

 

After working with noted producer James Stroud on his recent albums, Young took the reins on the “I’m Comin’ Over” project by co-producing the album with songwriter Corey Crowder.

 

Artists producing their own albums, while somewhat common in the rock and alternative genres, is rare in country. But Young had no great revelations or statements about his decision to step into producing on “I’m

Comin’ Over.”

 

“You know what, actually it just kind of felt like it was time,” he said. “I don’t think it was anything in particular. It wasn’t like some big moment where I was like ‘I’m going to do this.’ It was like ‘I think this is the right way to go on this project specifically.’ It was a bit of a risk because it’s something I haven’t done in the past.”

 

Another significant shift was that Young worked with an almost entirely new group of songwriters in co-writing nine of the 11 songs on “I’m Comin’ Over.” He began to think of Crowder as his co-producer after writing sessions with Crowder and Josh Hoge.

 

Once again, Young sounded like switching up songwriting collaborators was about as earth shattering than changing shirts.

 

“I don’t think it’s anything in particular,” Young said when asked what led to working with a different set of co-writers. ”I don’t think it was like something was going on where I felt the need to do that. It was more that this is just kind of naturally how this project worked itself.”

 

Despite those changes in how Young made “I’m Comin’ Over,” the latest album is perfectly in character with Young’s other albums – delivering another set of tuneful, well-crafted songs with lyrics that feel emotional and heartfelt without seeming contrived.

There’s a sturdy rocker in “Underdogs” and a breezy tune in “Sunshine Overtime.” Otherwise, “I’m Comin’ Over” is defined by melodic, easy-going mid-tempo tunes like “Heartbeat,” “Thinking of You” and the title song – as well as reflective ballads like “I Know a Guy” and “Sober Saturday Night.”

 

Now Young is heading out on a summer/fall run of shows opening for Aldean mixed in with a few festival dates. He suggested he won’t weight the show too  much toward the “I’m Comin’ Over” material.

 

‘”You definitely have to play the stuff that people have heard on the radio,” Young said. “But when it gets down to actually new stuff, you don’t ever want to play like the whole new record. It’s been just kind of a gradual change of me figuring out, ‘Today I think I’ll add this.’ So it kind of depends on what show people show up for.”

 

 

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