There are just some artists who try way too hard. During the bro-country era, Chase Rice was bottom of the barrel. Songs like “Ready Set Roll” and “Gonna Wanna Tonight” did little to leave much of an impression in a sea of like-minded bros. Now, after some much-needed time away, he returns with what has been promised as more emotionally-rooted work.
“American Nights,” off his surprise EP, The Album Pt. 1, is a ho-hum radio fodder aimed to celebrate small town life. Even in some of the more interesting details – “He was 18 and wasted / Bedroom in the basement / Parent’s house, Tucson, Arizona / What do you expect from a high school diploma” – there lacks true heart, grit, or even style in the songwriting itself. “Here’s to these American nights / We’re having the time of our life,” he sings on the hook, which feels just as limp and lifeless.
Swing and a miss.
Listen to “American Nights” below.