It’s fair to say that Florida Georgia Line is on the edge of a very big 2013.
The duo of Monroe, Ga., native Tyler Hubbard and Ormond Beach, Fla., guy Brian Kelley, is currently celebrating the No. 1 success of its single “Cruise,” a sing-song anthem that caught the attention of Taylor Swift and Keith Urban thanks to its good-time attitude and crazy-catchy chorus. Plus, their song “Black Tears” was also picked up by Jason Aldean for inclusion on his latest album.
Hubbard and Kelley, friends who met at college in Nashville, are neophytes in a sense, but they’re well on their way with their debut full-length record, “Here’s to the Good Times.” The pair has released two EPs, and five songs from the one released earlier this year are included here, along with six new tunes.
Granted, several of the songs tend to blend together, whether the pair is name-checking the Georgia Bulldogs in “Tip it Back” (a song that needs no further explanation) or pumping fists to the “Hell Raisin’ Heat of Summer” (again, no major stretch).
But aside from the dopey and best-skipped “Dayum Baby,” FGL has enough fully-realized tunes here to make it a debut worth hearing. The guys are forthright in their love of rap, and, idiotic spelling aside, have a standout with a song from their second EP, “It’z Just What We Do,” a fun amalgamation of rock, rap and country that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Kid Rock record (though replace his beloved beer with FGL’s apparent favorite, Bacardi).
Most of the songs chug along pleasantly, with banjo and piano the dominant instruments along with some sizzling electric guitar solos that Urban probably would appreciate. Those who like their country with more twang and less gloss will appreciate the drawling “Get Your Shine On” and the title track, which, like many of FGL’s material, celebrates the simple things in life: spending time with friends and swaying drunkenly in a bar to playful songs on the jukebox.
There are plenty here to choose from.
By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene