Jake Owen has had a successful career up until this point. With platinum and gold certified albums to go along with six #1 songs prior to last year, Owen had made himself a good living and solidified himself as a good country singer. He could’ve plateaued and continued to make solid music and been satisfied with what he’s done for country music.
But he didn’t.
Last year, he released one of the songs of summer in “I Was Jack” which shot up all the way to #1. He then followed it up with “Down To The Honkytonk” which has far surpassed how most people thought the song would perform on the charts. The catchy song currently sits on #7 and is stuck in everyone’s head. The song is nominated for Single of the Year at Sunday’s ACM Awards in Las Vegas.
Owen built off of the monster year he had with a 14 track album that is the best Jake Owen we’ve heard yet. Are you a fan of the beach songs? Pour a margarita because those are on here. You prefer his slow love ballads? Light a candle because he knows how to set the mood with the lyrics in these songs. The takeaway is that he’s not boxing himself into one sound or the other. Country music is filled with many great male artists and it makes us wonder if Jake Owen had almost become a forgotten man of sorts. Ryan Hurd thinks so:
Owen starts the album off with his smash hit “Down To The Honkytonk” to get listeners drawn in from the get-go. “Ain’t Here to Talk” is a catchy tune about cutting out the bullshit pickup lines at a bar and just taking her out on the dance floor. He then transitions to an “it’s going to be okay” song with “Catch a Cold One.” The song is a new take on the typical country song about drinking a beer after a long week. With “I Was Jack,” Owen gets his two biggest hits out of the way four songs into the album. Interesting strategy, but I think it’s a good call. Kid Rock joins him on “Grass Is Always Greener.” Singing about not being envious of others, the song has a glass half full message with a not so subtle wink to Kid Rock’s party style.
“Homemade” is one of my favorite songs on the album. He sings about the things that most of us can relate to growing up. This is the type of song that Owen doesn’t get nearly enough credit for. He then gets back to the beach vibe with “Drink All Day.” With catchy percussions it sounds like the exact song you’d hear under an umbrella while nursing a margarita. Owen once again pivots 180 from the beach song to a candlelight love ballad with “That’s On Me” as he makes sure his woman doesn’t have to life a single finger.
Enrique Iglesias Owen is joined by Lele Pons on “Señorita,” a very nice sounding song about falling in love in paradise. Their two voices blend together so well they should truly consider collaborating more often. He then takes a page out of Kenny Chesney’s playbook (“Anything But Mine”) and sings about trying to be content with a summer fling ending with “In It.” Owen transitions to sing about how fast life goes but making sure to sit back and enjoy the ride in “River Of Time.”
“Made for You” is a beautiful love ballad that shows off Owen’s versatility when it comes to his music. In fact, he will be performing this song at Michael Ray and Carly Pearce’s upcoming wedding. He then sings about being on the beach of Mexico from his home in Tennessee in “Mexico In Our Minds.” It’s a clever song. Owen ends the album with “Damn,” a humorous angle on not finding the words to describe that special lady in your life.