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Adam R. Holz

Album Review

What would inspire you to write a song?

There are probably almost as many answers to that question as there are people on the planet. Here’s just one: For the rising country-pop duo Brian Kelly (who hails from Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Tyler Hubbard (from Monroe, Ga.), the answer—on this song, at least—is a pretty girl emerging from the water in an eye-catching bikini.

“Yeah, when I first saw that bikini top on her/She’s poppin’ right out of the South Georgia water/Thought, Oh, good Lord, she had them long tanned legs/Couldn’t help myself, so I walked up and said/Baby, you a song.”

Now, it could be said that only in a country song is a lame pick-up line and leering at a woman’s chest and legs liable to yield a “positive” outcome. But because this is a country song, well, that kind of ogling objectification is the beginning of something beautiful—in a good ol’ boy sort of way, of course. It’s a romance chock-full of big trucks and small towns, Southern Comfort and Southern rock.

“You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise,” riffs the chorus. “Down a back road blowin’ stop signs through the middle/Every little farm town with you/In this brand-new Chevy with a lift kit/Would look a h‑‑‑ of a lot better with you up in it.”

As for the song- and cruise- inspiring young lady, well, she’s more than ready to take him up on his offer: “She was sippin’ on Southern and singin’ Marshall Tucker/We were falling in love in the sweet heart of summer/She hopped right up into the cab of my truck and said/’Fire it up, let’s go get this thing stuck.'”

OK. Having grown up in a small rural town myself—the kind with a main street down which those of us with driver’s licenses cruised and trawled almost every night (’cause there wasn’t much else to do)—I get the appeal of a song like this. The vision of windows down, a warm summer breeze in your hair, your favorite music cranked up and a pretty girl next to you on a summer night is an appealing one, to be sure. (Especially for those of us who rarely got much closer to realizing that dream than, well, a song like this one.)

Still, upon closer inspection, the cruising fantasy Florida Georgia Line delivers here boils down to little more than a bit o’ lust leading up to “parking” that big ol’ truck off of one of those wide country lanes, with the radio cranked and the booze at the ready. As romantic as the band wants us to believe this vision of Southern perfection is, it’s actually a ribald recipe for trouble that’s highly unlikely to lead to the kind of lasting love these guys also say they believe in.

The video, by the way, follows the song pretty literally at first, as Kelley and Hubbard slam on the brakes to watch a woman rise, Aphrodite-like, from the water in her teeny tiny bikini. The guys get an eyeful … and so do we. A wink and a nod later and a pair of super-short shorts later , she’s in the truck. A quick stop at a gas station adds another young lass to the group. And before you count out a four-beat, they’re all playing a game of strip poker.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

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