“One Thing At A Time” – Morgan Wallen Review
Written by wmscweb on March 8, 2023
By Ben Petruk
Morgan Wallen is like my first student ID card. It was supposed to be canceled, but it still works.
The 29 year old country superstar just released his third album, on the very strategic date of March 3rd: It was Wallen 3 on 3/3. A catchy idea, which is the theme of Wallen’s new project. This 36 track album goes on for just under two hours. The themes, genre, and overall sound changes throughout, but it never loses the Morgan Wallen raspy flare that his fans always enjoy.
While Wallen got his rise to fame through “bro” country songs such as “Whiskey Glasses” and “More Than My Hometown,” he seemed to take off as the number one country artist through his pop songs “Heartless” and “Broadway Girls.” Those song’s themes combine in the album One Thing At A Time, which is a tad ironic cause nothing is taken one thing at a time in this album.
The first two songs really set the listener on the path of what they are about to embark on. “Born With A Beer In My Hand” perfectly resembles the Morgan Wallen of old. It also sets the theme of the entire album. A man who is trying to better himself, but fails at every attempt. The leadoff track has a bit of modern flair that describes a sober man who knows it is in his blood to drink again.
Afterwards, the album takes a massive 90 degree turn into the next song “Last Night,” which is very different from the prior track. It opens with a guitar riff and Wallen singing in a pop tone. You start to wonder what the genre is- then the bass hits. The song is about a couple that argues, but Wallen knows that he is the best thing for her so he just lets her leave.
The next song, “Everything I Love,” brings us straight back into the country tone.
After going back and forth between genres for two hours, I have come to the conclusion that all 36 songs were very well written and performed by an artist that could honestly sing about chicken sandwiches and it would sell. They are all well fit for this record. The problem I have with this LP is that the constant switching between genres leaves sour taste on songs that I would enjoy more if they had more of a spotlight. For example, towards the end of the album, two of the best pop songs “180 (Lifestyle)” and “Cowgirls” sandwich the country song “Had It.” I would have never fully listened to that song if I didn’t make an entire show about each song… Many people might forget that song’s existence.
I believe that each of the 36 songs have their place in people’s hearts, it just should have been a pop album by itself and a country album by itself. This would have worked better! The pop album would have around 14-16 songs and the country album would have 20-24 songs. I believe this would showcase the forgotten songs and the audience wouldn’t skip a single song.
Overall, the album out did Wallen’s previous album Dangerous, and I am very intrigued to see where this album ranks against Luke Comb’s Gettin Old, which drops in two weeks from this review. This album will most likely solidify Wallen as the number one country artist in the world and the question would have to be asked: Does he start to compete with artists in the pop industry? He has the iconic voice, the look, and the catchy hooks. Yet, he does not have the best history… But for now he has to take it One Thing At A Time.
Photo from Amazon Music.