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Florida Georgia Line, ‘Dirt’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Republic Nashville

‘Dirt’ is not the song Florida Georgia Line fans were expecting. Gone is the bravado, the hyper-time drum beats and the contagious hooks. Instead, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard rely on steel guitar and lyrical depth to make this ballad work.

And it does.

In so many ways, it works. Florida Georgia Line have found an answer for their critics in ‘Dirt.’ It’s a more mature sound that still recalls ballads like ‘Stay’ from their debut album. But they’ve done what every artist must do between albums No. 1 and No. 2 — grow.

“It’s that elm shade red roads clay you grew up on / That plowed up ground that your dad damned his luck on / That post game party field you circle up on / And when it rains you get stuck on,” the two men sing at the chorus. Lyrically, the chorus is more imaginative than anything they’ve released to date.

Drift a cloud back behind county roads that you run up / The mud on her jeans that she peeled off and hung up / Her blue-eyed summer time smile looks so good that it hurts / Makes you wanna build a 10 percent down, white picket fence house on this dirt,” they add to close.

It’s fair to call ‘Dirt’ Florida Georgia Line’s most traditional country song to date. While there will surely be party anthems on their upcoming record, the duo and producer Joey Moi hold back on the bombast for this humble song about respecting your roots. It’s country boy poetry with a message that sticks to the ribs:

You’ve mixed some sweat with it / Taken a shovel to it / You’ve stuck some crosses and some painted goal posts through it  / You know you came from it / And some day you’ll return to it,” FGL sing during the second verse.

‘Dirt’ couldn’t be more different than ‘Cruise,’ the song that kicked off the duo’s first album in 2012. However, in many ways this is the most important song Florida Georgia Line have released, as it shows an entirely new side to them.

Key Lyrics: “You get your hands in it / Plant your roots in it / Dusty headlights dance with your boots in it”

Did You Know?: Brian Kelley says his karaoke jam is ‘Friends in Low Places’ by Garth Brooks.

Listen to Florida Georgia Line, ‘Dirt’

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