Lifestyle Magazine

Sam Hunt, SOUTHSIDE Album Review

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

It's been a minute, but Sam Hunt is back with a full album, releasing the 12-song SOUTHSIDE on Friday morning to the delight of fans that have been waiting for his sophomore record since they fell in love with Montevallo.

The genre-bending star goes deep on this one, looking at heartbreak, break-ups, personal darkness and struggle, and the side of him that you don't think of when you go back to House Party and Leave The Night On. It's no secret that Hunt went through some shit, and we shouldn't be surprised to see that he went there as a songwriter and told those stories and shared those feelings.

It's been more than three years since Sam Hunt released Body Like A Back Road and Drinkin' Too Much as singles, almost two years since Downtown's Dead, and five-and-a-half years since his debut album, Montevallo. We've been so ready for this album that in late-2018 I had Hunt listed on my ' 10 Albums We're Looking Forward To' list where I said, "If Downtown's Dead and Body Like A Back Road are the start of whatever the next album is, we know that fans are ready. And if it's different (which it could very well be) I'm pretty sure that people are still going to give it a chance (and other people will bitch about it). I guess we'll just have to wait and see." and now, finally, in April 2020, SOUTHSIDE is here.

Any question of whether fans lost interest in Sam Hunt because of the time between albums should be greeted with a hearty laugh. On Spotify, pre-release singles Body Like A Backroad, Hard To Forget, Sinning With You, Kinfolks and Downtown's Dead take up half of his top 10 streaming spots and have a combined 589 million+ streams. That's all lead by Body Like A Back Road, the smash #1 single that spent 20 weeks at the top of the Hot Country Chart, and is certified Platinum 6x in the US and 7x in Canada.

The new album brings six brand new tracks to go with the earlier singles, allowing for a 39-minute listen of familiarity and freshness.

I mentioned the deep/dark on SOUTHSIDE, but that doesn't mean there isn't a little light too. Body Like A Back Road is a love song and Let It Down is a peppier track that won't slow you down while you listen and bob your head. It's not an even split or balance, but those moments are there and the songs are waiting for you to break things up.

As always, a Sam Hunt album has the potential to be a lightning rod. There will be those that say it's not country and those that proudly exclaim they won't listen and think he's the worst. To those people I'd say this, please just let people like what they like and understand that we're well past the point of country music being an easily definable thing. Let it go and enjoy what you enjoy and sing along.

There will also be those who get into the album but aren't turned on by every song. And that's totally fair because personal tastes and connection are what music special or important to all of us as individuals.

And there are fans that will hit play on 2016 and let SOUTHSIDE roll all the way through Drinkin' Too Much and then go back to the top and start again. If you're in that boat, congratulations. Finding an artist or an album that you love and want to listen to and purely enjoy is great and we're all lucky when we find that.

I started my Sam Hunt journey with the Between The Pines mixtape in 2013, moved along to Montevallo in 2014, had the chance to see him live a few times in there, and have been waiting for this album. It's here now, and if you liked any of the songs you'd heard in the lead-up, or if you are looking to introduce crossover/non-traditional country music to friends, give it a spin.

Check the tracklist, hit play on the stream, and enjoy SOUTHSIDE.

Sam Hunt, SOUTHSIDE Tracklist

Sam Hunt, SOUTHSIDE Album Review

Sam Hunt, SOUTHSIDE Album Review

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