Dustin Lynch’s “Tullahoma” brings new flare to his array of classics

Matthew Smalbach

“I damn sure let ‘em all know, I grew up on a dirt road,” Lynch reminisces. 

There’s nothing quite like your hometown. For Dustin Lynch, his upbringing in Tennessee inspired the title of his fourth album “Tullahoma,” the name of the town he grew up in. His newest album, released on Jan. 17, follows the classic country themes of a small southern town. “Tullahoma” mixes a variety of styles which contrasts his earlier works.

Lynch’s first single, “Cowboys and Angels,” was released in 2012. It was a slow paced, older style country song about love––a pattern many of his past songs have replicated. “Tullahoma,” however, has a more sped up tempo and uses an upbeat melody reminiscent of many of today’s country pop stars, like Kane Brown. Especially in “Thinking ‘bout you,” Lynch sounds more mainstream than the older country stars, Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks, that influenced him early in his career. “Cowboys and Angels” also features Lauren Alaina, a young country star that many people may know from her days on American Idol in 2011.

My personal favorite song in the album is “Dirt Road,” which portrays the simple childhood Lynch experienced in Tennessee. Even though growing up on a dirt road like the song alludes to may not be relatable, the chorus will have you singing along instantly.

Two of the songs were released prior to the drop of the album and became instant hits. “Ridin’ Roads,” is currently the eighth most popular country song according to Billboard and “Good Girl,” shot to a peak position of No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

While some people may appreciate the sad tone that the song strikes, it was a major downside to the album for me. This is best illustrated in the first song “Mommas house.”

Courtesy of Broken Bow Records

“It started under that Texaco sign where you said goodbye, I’d get some gas and light a match right there,” Lynch sings.

Even though the melody throughout the album is catchy and very soothing, a closer listen to the lyrics may cause some teary eyes.

Despite the fact that many of the songs follow country clichés, Lynch is usually able to keep them fresh and his vocals keep it interesting. However, in “Old Country Song” the clichés become a little too difficult to handle. Lynch has lines such as “I’ma love you like an old country song” and “Like a grand ole Nashville tune, gonna put it on you.” Something along these lines seems to be found in every country song and the melody does not make up for the stereotypical lyrics like it does for the others.

I would recommend this album to all country music listeners whether you prefer older country music or the newer artists. For those who don’t listen to country music as much, I would still recommend listening to “Dirt Road,” and “Thinking ‘bout you,” my two favorites on the album. Due to its less extreme country roots, this album is a great way for people to test out country music and maybe even explore a new genre!