Seemingly following the Morgan Wallen model of maximizing her image as a country star fit for the streaming and social media era, Bailey Zimmerman is 7 years younger and doesn’t feel the need to overload her 36-track album to rack up those numbers. two wins in my book. After bursting onto the scene with an EP containing the two mega-hits “Fall In Love” and “Rock And A Hard Place,” Zimmerman’s debut album arrives to add fourteen more tracks to the original two that made him a household name. in Nashville. And even though some of Tennessee’s best didn’t lend their writing talents to the project like some of his contemporaries, it seems Zimmerman himself has mastered the kind of clever lyrical twists, custom buzzwords to keep coming back and relating to with everyone. the men that many of them are. prospering on his account. While her voice won’t blow your mind and 16 tracks that mostly focus on the very specific theme of Zimmerman fearing that the feeling of a relationship nearing its natural end will get a bit repetitive and tedious, there are a couple of gems that shine through offer. promise if he ever wanted to deviate from the country’s algorithmic machine.
The project begins with its title track and Zimmerman’s latest single, and it doesn’t seem like it was the best choice at first glance, as it has some mixing issues not present on the other tracks here. The instrumental feels eerily quiet, making Zimmerman’s relatively basic melody sound robotic and forced without enough backing, which doesn’t help with a couple of lines that don’t quite fit rhythmically. However, it does show a preview of his writing chops as the bridge has fun with the lyrical theme of religion while discussing the ups and downs of a previous relationship. “Warzone” keeps this up throughout the song with war imagery, and also finds Zimmerman hitting some impressive high notes. The world of the song is further developed by exploding bombs in the back and a roaring guitar solo, the background is not as static as your typical country tune with some additional motifs appearing throughout. “Forget About You” is another song from the early stages that continues to show that Zimmerman’s strengths are more likely to come to the fore when he enjoys heavy material, with some more powerful chords in the back, more rocking, and a nice midtempo. . break in the chorus as he reels over a sudden break that he can’t get over, the track stands out among the rest. “Fix’n to Break” is another single that doesn’t quite stand out: it’s more generic instrumentally and has a bit of a sleepy melody to it, so it all depends on lyricism once again to take, and take sometimes it does. When Zimmerman asks his partner to tell him directly if he should continue to work to fix things, he likens it to a dilapidated house with a variety of puns.
Most of the tracks on this project don’t have much to excite anyone who isn’t a huge country fan, but enough for those people to nod in agreement and not back down from a genre that might be less favorable to them. Tracks like “Chase Her” and “Found Your Love” in the first half keep up the competition with familiar themes—Zimmerman tells us he was a rowdy outlaw who would get the party started until he found his perfect match in the latter, for example—and the instruments delivered. by a serious new voice, but it’s mostly copy-paste radio songs. As far as radio songs go, though, “Fall in Love” really has to be one of the best country music singles in years. Each part of the melody is a hook unto itself and Zimmerman’s ability to breathlessly deliver some of the faster syllables makes the song all the more human and believable: really sounds as if he’s frantically trying to warn listeners about the dangers of love before someone else gets hurt. With some creepy minor-key vibes and some specific storylines about how Zimmerman got dirty, he almost feels like a masculine “Before I Cheat” who trades gold-digging for infidelity. “You Don’t Want That Smoke” is another early standout. The fact that the central pun comes from hip-hop culture and the love of drugs metaphor has been done to death is made up for by Zimmerman’s emotional performance. Speaking of the relationship he leaves you in ashes as the strings swell to the quietest tune, “take it secondhand from a fool who knows” might be the smartest lyric on the entire album.
Given that the project was a long time coming and loaded with singles, by the time you get to the end it almost starts to feel like the label is forcing him to release his safer stuff onto the airwaves. You can tell how much effort was put into “Where It Ends” at the end of its first verse when the lines start to rhyme with themselves; it also sounds like a watered down “Fall In Love”. While “Rock and a Hard Place” isn’t quite as captivating as their other big hit, it definitely has a soaring chorus that makes me want to sing “that’s when I lost it, midnight in Austin” to a crowd of thousands. and a single attraction. Between these two singles on the track listing are “Other Side of Lettin’ Go,” another generic full of car puns and the exhaustion that begins to set in when Zimmerman sings the name of another American state in the chorus, and “Pain Won’t Last”, one that is extremely well written and structured. There’s something special about the way the melody descends and picks us up with a bit of a swell as Zimmerman tries to encourage us to keep going when we’re at our lowest ebb , thrilling us with some cathartic final notes.
Throwing it in near the end, Zimmerman actually takes a traditional ’40s tune here on “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” Adding a bit of bass to his voice to make it appropriately menacing as he warns wrongdoers of divine wrath, this more than any other shows that his vocal range is quite outstanding. “Get to Gettin’ Gone” is the last bright spot on the project with one of the strongest choruses, but the repetitive nature of the instruments certainly starts to wear off by the end, as “Fadeaway” feels particularly undercooked and things slow down. they close with “Is this really over?” – and their mileage for a bright, upbeat tune at the end as Zimmerman tries to win her back may vary at this point.
Feeling relatively similar to when Morgan Wallen first started making waves, we’ll see if Zimmerman’s career follows a similar trajectory, or if he becomes a bit more of a Luke Combs figure who doesn’t seem to be playing the game as much. hard. For now, there’s something here to keep an eye on.
Favorite Songs: Fall in Love, Forget About You, The Pain Won’t Last, You Don’t Want That Smoke
Least Favorite Track: Fadeaway