Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. There’s your theme for Midland’s latest album Let it Roll.
The 14 song album highlights so much of what the band does really well. Their ability to harmonize and create a sound that’s straight out of the 80s but is catchy as hell as we finish this decade. I like to think of Midland as the country western hippies — and this is the soundtrack to their life.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a song on the album that doesn’t reference the rockstar lifestyle of getting high and one night flings. I think there are some country artists from many decades ago that are tipping their hat hearing this project.
What’s interesting is that Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne – the same songwriters who have written hits for the likes of Sam Hunt and Kelsea Ballerini – are writers on five songs.
“Let It Roll” gets the listener hooked right away before transitioning to the classic country song about being on the road and in a hurry to get home with “Fourteen Gears.” You can almost picture a trucker hauling ass on a long Texas highway to get home.
One of the catchiest songs is “Mr. Lonely” — an innocent twist on a lady’s man before moving on to two ballads with two different meanings in “Cheatin’ Songs” and “Put The Hurt On Me.” “I Love You Goodbye” a song about respect and admiration for someone even though the relationship is over.
“Every Song’s a Drinkin’ Song” is one of the truest country song titles in recent memory while “21st Century Honky Tonk American Band” is the best way to describe this band.
One of my favorites on the album is “Fast Hearts and Slow Towns” as the vocals are so damn smooth and rich, really highlighting the appeal of Midland.
“Cheatin’ by the Rules” and “Playboys” are two songs that tackled cheating in a unique play on words and almost make you have sympathy for each character involved.
The group strips things down in a romantic one night ballad “Lost in the Night.” You get the sense that the group is self aware of their wild child lifestyle in the song “Gettin’ the Feel” that has the wild child going back and forth between whether to go back to the party lifestyle or settle down.
“Roll Away” is the song that wraps up the album. The folksy song quite honestly could have the double meaning of continuing to live life day by day or rolling another joint. Either fits and that’s the way I’m sure Midland planned it.
These cowboy hippies pushed the boundaries lyrically, tipped their hats to decades past, and kept on making music their way. And they’re going to keep on letting it roll.