Morgan Wallen’s highly anticipated sophomore album, “Dangerous: The Double Album”, not only lived up to the high expectations set but far exceeded them! On the album Wallen tells stories ranging from funny to heartbreaking and everything in between, all with his affable charm that his quickly made him one of country music’s biggest superstars. A good album, in my opinion one that makes listeners either laugh, think, feel, or cry; on “Dangerous” Wallen is able to elicit all four throughout the album. Whether it’s on the happy, go lucky “Something Country” or the deeply personal “Livin’ The Dream” the songwriting on this album is stellar throughout, making this one of my favorite albums in a really long time. If I had to describe this album in a few words or phrases, I’d use introspective/growth seeking, nostalgic heartbreaking, and fun. While, some songs fall into more than one of these categories, I did my best to sort the album into these categories as neatly as possible.
Introspective/ Growth Seeking
The album opens with an introspective, nostalgic, heartbreaking song titled “Sand In My Boots”. This song sets the tone of Wallen attempting to learn from his past mistakes and learn to live less dangerously. Wallen laments a lost love and that now instead of being a love with a great girl that took a chance on him he is caught driving aimlessly through town searching for meaning. This journey towards maturity is present throughout many tracks on this album from “Somebody’s Problem” to “Livin’ The Dream”. Other songs that fit this category are the title track and “Warning” in both Wallen laments that he can’t just be smarter and quit making the same mistakes that have gotten him in trouble in the past.
When the word nostalgic is next to the name Wallen 7 summers is obviously the first song that comes to mind, but there are a few other songs on this album that show Wallen in a state of sheer retrospection. Whether it’s the story of moving on found in “Whiskey’d My Way” or the story of finding yourself “This Bar” Wallen has a penchant to vividly depict these moments that many of us are hung up on looking back at throughout various moments in our lives. Wallen delivers stellar, yearning vocals on the nostalgic tracks on this album that draw listeners in and make them feel along with him. However, my favorite of the nostalgic tracks on this record is “Silverado For Sale” in which Wallen is forced to sell his long owned truck in order to buy a ring for the girl of his dreams. Wallen beautifully recounts all the memories he’s had in that truck as he places a back page ad.
Probably the largest collection of songs on this record, Wallen describes his often liquored soaked broken heart in tremendous detail. The first of these songs “Wasted On You” is a song Wallen first played acoustically on Instagram and much to the delight of fans it is found on the album. “Wasted On You” is also my favorite melody on the album. Other heartbreakers include, the early fan favorite on the record. the highly relatable “865” in which Wallen is trying everything to get his ex off his mind but ultimately knows it won’t work. “865” is such a special song because we all have, or have had a number that we know by heart that we know we should never call. This section has the incredibly written “Your Bartender” which in a lot of ways to me feels like a sad version of Rascal Flatts “Rewind”; as well as the underrated “Neon Eyes”.
While some may call these “bro” songs Wallen delivers this section of the record with his classic charm. The two that stick as the most “bro” are “Whatcha Think Of Country Now” and “Something Country” however on both of these songs the songwriting is far more incisive than a typical “bro country” song. This section also includes, some less “broey” songs including three of my favorite’s on the record, “Outlaw ”, “Blame It On Me” and “More Surprised Than Me”. The writing on this section of songs is simply a cut above what you would find on a typical “bro” album and that is what makes Wallen one of a few that can transcend the labels and stereotypes often attached to “bro” artists.