NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
You don’t need to know that Tyler Hubbard comes from Monroe, Ga., or that his partner in Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley, comes from Ormond Beach, Fla. It’s the music that lets you know these two guys know how to kick it in the studio and onstage, Dixie style.
Scheduled to release Dec. 4 on the Republic Nashville imprint, “Here’s to the Good Times” is a pastiche of prickling banjo, walloping backbeats and muscle guitar, run through a blender of country, Southern rock and a hint of hip-hop.
Hubbard and Kelley coast over these grooves with upbeat vocals that pound their good-time message home. Every measure of their first single, “Cruise,” suggests head-bobbing and arm-waving. Written by Hubbard, Kelley, their producer Joey Moi, Chase Rice and Jesse Rice, it opens with a harmonized vocal figure, which pops with the first of several lyric hooks that made this one of the catchiest summer anthems of the year. (The “Chevy with a lift-kit” lick midway through the chorus is a lethally infectious secondary sing-along line.)
This first single from “Here’s to the Good Times” pretty much defines Florida Georgia Line’s party-hard feel. Even their song titles beckon listeners to join in on the fun: “Get Your Shine On” (Rodney Clawson, Kelley, Hubbard and Chris Tompkins) builds through a melodic fragment that rises, step by step, into another ear-worm chorus, this one at a steady medium tempo. “Tip It Back” (Clawson, Hubbard and Kelley) applies those three words to ball caps, long-necks and the seats in “your girlfriend’s Cadillac.” With their smiling, deep-drawl delivery and relentlessly upbeat outlook, who could resist invitations like these?
In their own words
KELLEY: “Garth Brooks.”
HUBBARD: “Lil Wayne.”
KELLEY: “It’s not a lucky charm, but I wear a necklace my dad gave me when we signed our deal. I never take if off.”
BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
HUBBARD: “Whatever vocal my producer Joey Moi is making me practice.”
MOMENT YOU’D LOVE TO RELIVE
BOTH: “The last year of our lives. It has been unreal.”
TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
BOTH: “Enjoy the Ride.”