Country artist Russell Dickerson dropped his sophomore album, Southern Symphony, yesterday (December 4th). Since he burst onto the scene with his first number one and now double-platinum single “Yours” in 2017, Dickerson has been steadily building a name for himself. He’s scored three more number ones since then, including “Love You Like I Used To,” the lead single off this album. After listening to this album in full a few times, I think it’s safe to say you’ll be hearing the name Russell Dickerson a lot more in the future. Without further ado, let’s break this one down track-by-track.
Never Get Old
The album opens with “Never Get Old,” an uptempo ode to some of the best little things in life. “Never Get Old” is one of four songs on this album that had already been released. He first dropped it on October 16th to coincide with the album announcement. Driven by a stomp-clap beat, this song just begs to be sung along to, especially at live shows (once those are legal again). It’s the perfect way to open this album, as it’s fun, makes you want to get up on your feet, and really sets the tone for the rest of it.
One of my favorite songs on the album, “Home Sweet” is a tribute to the ups and downs he and his wife, Kailey, have faced together since getting married. It’s another one of the previously released songs, with this one having been dropped back on July 15th. This song tells the story of everything he and his wife have been through since getting back from their honeymoon, primarily while he was still trying to break through as an artist. The overall theme throughout is that no matter where they were or what struggles they were dealing with, as long as they were together, they were “home.”
The song ends on a happy note, as Dickerson sings about how they purchased a house and found out they were going to having their now nearly three-month-old son, Remington. Overall, it’s an upbeat track that’s a great reminder of the important things in life, and in my opinion, it’s one of the strongest on the album.
All Yours, All Night
The first brand new track on the album is “All Yours, All Night.” It’s a classic Russell Dickerson song and features soaring vocals that really show off his talent. This song is told from the perspective of a man who’s just about to get off work, and is thinking about how he plans on spending quality time with his wife that night, singing that he’s “all yours, all night.” Overall, it’s a good song with a catchy melody and as I said above, it showcases Dickerson’s true vocal talent, which is obviously a good thing!
Love You Like I Used To
The lead single off Southern Symphony, “Love You Like I Used To,” dropped way back on February 11th. It recently climbed to number one on country radio, and it has spent two consecutive weeks there. It’s Dickerson’s fourth straight (and overall) number-one single. It also had the fastest climb to number one out of any of his songs, which can only mean good things for him. Like “All Yours, All Night,” “Love You Like I Used To” is a soaring track that showcases Dickerson’s full vocal talent. It has a sweet message about how the singer’s love for his wife has only grown through their years together. It’s sure to become a staple at anniversaries and is an overall amazing track that is certainly deserving of all the success it has had and will continue to have.
Forever For A Little While
The second new track on the album, “Forever For A Little While” is a sweet mid-tempo track. It talks about finding those little moments that you wish could last forever. It specifically focuses on long road trips, but it’s a universal message that will resonate with a lot of people. Overall, it’s an excellent song that will likely go on to be one of the most underrated ones on the album, as there are some others that are more radio-friendly, so it’s unlikely to be released as a single.
It’s About Time (ft. Florida Georgia Line)
Kicking it back into high gear for the final previously released track (it dropped on November 19th) on this album, “It’s About Time” finds Russell Dickerson teaming up with his good friends from Florida Georgia Line. It’s a feel-good, fun, and infectious song that’s sure to make you want to get on your feet, sing along, and maybe crack a drink if that’s your thing. Having Florida Georgia Line feature really brought this song to a whole new level, as they brought their high-energy hip-hop/R&B style to Dickerson’s (equally upbeat) pop-country, and they blended perfectly to create this likely future tailgating anthem.
“Honey” is perhaps the most unique song on this record. I can’t think of a single previously released song of Dickerson’s where he went that low into his vocal range. I hope he starts doing it more, as it’s an incredibly impressive deep bass. This is another fun, infectious song, which is Dickerson’s signature style, and it’s hard not to want to start dancing when you hear it. It’s sonically very different from the rest of the album, but in this case, it’s certainly not a bad thing.
The title track, “Southern Symphony” is perhaps the most impressive lyrically. It reflects on country living and is simultaneously highly personal yet universal. Talking about everything from bug zappers to how you don’t talk back to your mom, “Southern Symphony” is a beautiful track that will resonate in some way with pretty much everybody, but especially those who have lived out in the country. Like “Home Sweet,” I think it’s one of the (if not the) best on the album. I would not be surprised to see it become a single eventually.
Come to Jesus
“Come to Jesus” is another mid-tempo, incredibly sweet song. Dickerson sings about how much he appreciates his wife being his voice of reason and rock. It’s a beautiful song that a lot of couples will find highly relatable, as there’s usually one who’s wilder and one who’s more of a voice of reason like Russell and Kailey respectively are. Overall, it’s another excellent track that seems primed to be like “Forever For A Little While” and be an underrated gem due to the strength and radio-friendliness of many of the other songs on the album.
Waiting For You
Russell Dickerson closed out Southern Symphony with “Waiting For You,” which is another one of my favorites on it. Featuring an electronic opening and drop during each chorus, “Waiting For You” looks to have the most crossover potential of all the tracks on this album. It’s another soaring, sweet track that focuses on how the singer finally found the woman he’d been looking for his whole life. But, it features more production than many of Dickerson’s songs, and it works very well. However, perhaps the best part of this song is the unexpected and beautiful saxophone solo. It makes the track really special and memorable. Don’t be surprised to see this one get released as a single eventually given its crossover potential and overall strength.
Southern Symphony Is Russell Dickerson’s Best Work to Date
Overall, Russell Dickerson put out his best work to date in Southern Symphony. It’s a lot more cohesive than his debut album “Yours” and flows really well from track to track. It also showcases how Dickerson has matured and grown not only as an artist but as a person these past three years. If the success of “Love You Like I Used To” is any indication, Southern Symphony is going to bring Russell Dickerson’s career to amazing new heights. He certainly deserves it based on the strength of this album and after all his years of hard work and struggling to make it.
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
Featured Image courtesy of Spencer Combs via people.com.
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