Cole Swindell has recently entered a new phase of his career; his newest album “Stereotype” is a varied collection of country music love songs that range from first meetings to mistakes to new love to established relationships. His album runs the gamut of love in 13 songs, with clever, snappy lyrics and pop-influenced country melodies. It’s a cohesive collection that explores different stages of romantic love, but it’s not your typical country album. Sure, Swindell is noticeably twangy, being from Georgia, and he touches on plenty of country themes. But, it’s in the sound and the writing that Swindell really shines.
The lyrics and rhythms are exciting and novel, and while he sings about meeting country girls in bars and falling in love on a two-lane road, there’s something different about the way he’s constructed his music that makes it feel new. It’s fun, and interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album. Make sure to catch Swindell on the last leg of his Down To the Bar Tour, which goes until May 6.
Cole Swindell Releases Album of Love Songs for Every Stage
The album opens with Stereotype, a song about a typical country girl who is anything by typical. “If you look up a ‘Country girl’ in the dictionary / You’d see her face” sings Swindell in the first verse. He paints a picture of every country girl you see at a concert; trucker hat, buffalo check flannel, growing up on “Mariah and Shania / down a red dirt road highway.” We all know this girl in one form or another. But, while she seems like a typical country girl on the outside, the speaker realizes that she’s actually totally surprising.
Yeah, she’s unpredictable, anything but typical
She’s so original, so damn original
And she’s all mine, she’s everything I need
Yeah, she keeps me living on the edge of my seat
Every Beer is one of two songs on the album that aren’t straight up love songs, but it’s a love song to life, in a way. It calls to mind Cody Johnson’s “Til You Can’t,” or Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying.” This song may be typical of country albums, but it’s just different enough to bring something new to the genre.
Swindell’s song Never Say Never with Lainey Wilson is a song like nothing else I’ve heard in a while. It calls to mind tragically romantic country songs like “Golden Ring” from George Jones and Tammy Wynette, or “Good News Bad News” from George Strait and Lee Ann Womack. Or even Brad Paisley and Allison Krauss’ “Whiskey Lullaby,” although that song is on a tragic level all its own. “Never Say Never” is an explosive song featuring a couple who keeps going back to each other even though they know it never works out. They keep thinking “who knows tonight, we might get it right.”
Songs Like ‘I’m Gonna Let Her’ and ‘Single Saturday Night’ Showcase Established Versus New Love
I’m Gonna Let Her does a great job of introducing an established relationship. The girlfriend is doing little things like leaving her earrings by the sink; the speaker is letting these new experiences happen, and is thrilled about it. In Single Saturday Night, the speaker meets his future girlfriend for the first time in a bar during a night out with the boys; after that, they’re inseparable. He goes on about how he never expected that Saturday to be his “last single Saturday night.”
Miss Wherever is also a fun song about meeting a girl in a bar, as is She Had Me At Heads Carolina. “Heads Carolina, Tails California” is a song by Jo Dee Messina; Cole Swindell’s song paints a picture of a woman singing karaoke; the speaker wanders in and falls in love with her, basically.
Lastly, How Is She and Walk On Whiskey feature relationships ended, where one person has moved on but the other hasn’t. “How Is She,” especially; the ex-girlfriend has moved across the country to Colorado. The speaker wonders how she could move on so quickly when he’s suffering without her.
Cole Swindell’s New Album Makes Us Think About the Many Phases of Love
Overall, Cole Swindell created an interesting album for country fans who like a few rock and roll and pop-inspired melodies thrown in there. It’s an exploration of love in its many different forms, and I think Swindell nailed it. “Stereotype” is perfectly twangy, with inspired lyrics about the country stuff we know and love. But, at the same time that these themes are familiar to us, Cole Swindell turns them on their heads with new lyricism, melodies, and an interesting song construction. Definitely give “Stereotype” a listen for the cohesive theming and modern, down-home sound.