Cody Johnson’s — Gotta Be Me
Produced by: Trent Willmon
Label: CoJo Music
If you’re one of the loyal, country music lovers out there who have been worrying about the direction the genre is headed, fear not—Cody Johnson has come to the rescue. And you’ll never guess what he brings to assuage your anxiety… actual country music. That’s right—songs about lovin’ and losin’, drinkin’ and ridin’, fightin’ and makin’ up, all told with the most soothing and sympathetic Texas accent you could ever hope to hear in between a guitar and a fiddle. Why, Cody Johnson just might make the act of making traditional country music respectable again. Go figure. (I wouldn’t count on today’s “country” radio to appreciate this revolutionary act, so I recommend that you just go ahead and buy his album now, so you can listen to it whenever you like.)
The most striking thing about Cody Johnson’s new album, Gotta Be Me, is that is sounds like an instant classic. By the time he sings the first introductory verse, along comes the same feeling that comes with putting on an old favorite George Strait, Travis Tritt or Garth Brooks album. The real discovery is the confident and comfy vocals of Cody Johnson. He is the most instantly relatable persona to come along in country music in a long time, and this album is the genre’s best so far in 2016.
Mostly traditional country, the fourteen tracks on Gotta Be Me cover miles of emotional territory. If you’re looking for that perfect song to express an innermost feeling, no matter why, you’re likely to find it on this album. The influence of several solid country writers is evident (especially Randy Rogers and the Brothers Osborne), and Cody Johnson has a way of convincing you that he’s writing the material as he sings it. Whether he’s delivering a honky-tonk love song or a hard-driving Southern rock crowd pleaser, Cody Johnson is not just the ‘real deal,’ he is also a most refreshing artist in the current country roster. What you hear is what you get. He possesses the kind of trustworthiness that can build a very successful career in country music. See him now, while he’s on tour in venues where you can make eye contact with him, because I have no doubt that he’ll be appearing on much larger stages soon. When you’re as talented as Cody Johnson, all you gotta do is be yourself, I guess.
Essential Downloads: “Gotta Be Me,” “With You I Am,” “The Only One I Know (Cowboy Life),” “Walk Away.”
To purchase this album on iTunes, click here.