Arts and Entertainment Editor
Morgan Wallen, one of the biggest names in country music, dropped a new thirty-six-song album. One Thing At A Time was released on March 3rd, 2023. This album will be the focus of Wallen’s tour which kicked off in New Zealand. It is just short of two hours which is slightly longer than his previous double album Dangerous.
Within days, Wallen broke multiple records including the most songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. All thirty-six songs were represented which allowed Wallen to pass Drake who previously had twenty seven. His highest-charting song at the moment is “Last Night” at number one.
Thirty-six songs sound like a lot. The truth is no one expected this large of an album. However, the reason behind the number of pieces lies in the variety of genres. Wallen is primarily country but does not shy from writing and singing a mix of pop, alternative, and hip-hop.
Overall, the album is an 8/10. Most of the songs are written with beautiful, descriptive lyrics with fantastic stories and comparisons. There is a good range of songs that work for partying in someone’s house or watching the stars in the middle of a field. A few seem to miss but others have already made waves in the lives of millions.
Before reviewing the songs, listeners should review the artist. Wallen has experienced massive highs and incredible lows that are referred to in his album. He talks about heartbreak, God, loss, and love. All of these themes were and are present and important in his life, especially after 2021.
Nine of the thirty-six songs were released before the entire album. Of these singles, fans fell in love with “Don’t Think Jesus,” “You Proof,” and “I Wrote The Book.” These songs were released in 2022 but included on the 2023 album.
“Don’t Think Jesus” is about Wallen’s relationship with God. He talks about his sins and how Jesus would react. Wallen seeks salvation and finds an even better relationship with his religion. This song has stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 since its original release.
“You Proof” was a fan favorite when Wallen released a short teaser on his Instagram. It was released in May of 2022 and quickly became the song of the summer.
The chorus repeats the lyrics “Feel like nothing’s gonna cut it, that’s the hard truth/Yeah, I need something you proof” to tell a story of a person trying to forget their ex. No matter how much they try, that heartbreak lasts.
Finally, “I Wrote The Book” is another mention of Wallen’s relationship with his religion. He feels like being good at hobbies such as singing does not mean he is a good person. The title references the Bible and the value it has in Wallen’s life.
Many people adore Wallen because of his ability to write, sing, and perform. On the other hand, he is open about his mistakes and his struggles. Wallen is not afraid to show his audience that he also suffers when times are hard.
A huge part of country music is versatility. Country music has many subgenres such as pop, outlaw, and rock. Wallen looks to accomplish the entirety of the songs in this album. His country songs are headed to number one while the hip-hop ones flood TikTok.
Some of the best songs on Wallen’s album are those that take over social media and the radio. So far, these songs are “Last Night,” “Keith Whitley,” “Dying Man,” “‘98 Braves,” and “Man Made A Bar.”
“Last Night” is more of a pop song which increases its popularity due to the larger audience. The song touches upon knowing a relationship might end but not believing it is truly over. Wallen writes, “But baby, baby somethin’s tellin’ me this ain’t over yet/No way it was our last night” to emphasize this point.
“Keith Whitley” is a favorite for those who prefer country music to any other genre. The song constantly makes allusions and tributes to singer Keith Whitley who passed away in 1989. He writes lyrics referring to Whitley’s songs including “I’m No Stranger To The Rain” and “I Never Go Around Mirrors.”
“Dying Man” and “‘98 Braves” compare failure and loss to other people and sports. “Dying Man” is a reflection of Wallen and how he was struggling similarly to Elvis Presley and Hank Willaims. “‘98 Braves” refers to a relationship that never worked out like the Braves who came up short in the postseason despite their stellar record.
Collaborations can make or break a song which is a fact Wallen knows by now. He chose to sing “Man Made A Bar” with Eric Church who is a phenomenal performer and a mentor. This song touches upon how God made men and then women yet never gave them a place for peace.
When men got their hearts broken, they made bars to drink away their sorrows. If anyone was to imagine a country song with the topics of love, heartbreak, and beer, this song would be ideal.
Overall, Wallen does a fantastic job working in the industry and showcasing his passion for music. One Thing At A Time has already exceeded the expectations of millions and continues to reach more listeners. Wallen is an artist worth recognizing, appreciating, and loving. His music may not be for everyone but his abilities are beyond impressive.