Wallen plays it safe with Dangerous: The Double Album

Morgan Wallen’s album Dangerous: The Double Album is nothing out of the ordinary.

Graphic+with+Morgan+Wallen%2C+complete+with+a+stage-like+background+and+the+title+of+his+latest+album.

Photo Ethan Adair

Graphic with Morgan Wallen, complete with a stage-like background and the title of his latest album.

Ella Wertz, News and Features Editor

Editor’s note: this review was written before Wallen’s scandal for saying a racial slur. RHSToday and Knight Writers do not condone his actions in any way.

Morgan Wallen released his latest album Dangerous: The Double Album on Jan. 31st. It contains 30 songs, which adds up to one hour and 37 minutes of listening. When first looking at this album, listening to it seemed like a daunting task. 30 songs, in my opinion, is a bit excessive especially for a country album. To preface, I listen to some country music. It isn’t my first pick genre; however, I don’t hate it. I chose this album to listen to because I heard people raving about it and it was rumored to break many records.

Starting off, the first song “Sand in My Boots” on the first of the two albums was a typical country song. It wasn’t terrible, but it was nothing out of the ordinary.

Throughout the entire first album, Wallen played it safe. He stayed pretty strictly to the pop country genre with little variation. Each of his songs included many of the same melodies and were chalked full with country cliches.

His songs seemed to all run together. It seemed as if he was plugging in different lyrics into combinations of the same chord progressions to build a similar sound. This album reflected an artist staying inside his comfort zone and playing it safe to please a typical audience–there was little creativity and variety.

My favorite songs on the first album were “Whisky’ed My Way Over You” and “Cover Me Up.” “Whisky’ed My Way Over You,”  like the entirety of the album, followed the typical country song formula, touching on topics of alcohol and girls. However, I really liked the mellow tone of the song. “Cover Me Up” was my favorite lyrically–it had a sweet sentiment with a somber melody that seemed to coexist perfectly.

Switching to the second album, the first song completely shocked me. Wallen’s sound changed. The second album was in the direction of very country. His southern accent was much more prevalent than in any songs on the first album. However, the songs on this album were still riddled with country cliches–maybe even more so than the first.

This album seemed to appeal to a deeper country audience which reaffirmed the idea in my mind that Wallen doesn’t seem to have his own style or voice. Within this double album, he is attempting to appeal to a wide audience, but what it is lacking is his personality. With this drastic switch between the two albums, Wallen’s true intent for the album was completely missing.

There weren’t many songs I liked on this second album. The song “Dangerous” (taking its name after the album itself) was way too fast paced and sounded very edited. Additionally, I thought the song “Country A$$ Shit” could’ve been the title for the entire album. The album seemed to just be a combination of country lyrics, rhythms and cliches compiled to make an album.

The song “Livin the Dream” was an interesting reflection of his idea on fame. I feel like every artist creates a song with this sentiment that fame is not as good as it seems. However, Wallen’s rendition wasn’t bad.

Something on this album that I did like was the ending song. He finished the double album with a song titled “Quittin’ Time.” I thought this was a clever name for the last song. The song itself is again subpar.

Wallen’s album is nowhere near dangerous. I would say that I am indifferent to it – it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great. Personally, the only song I would listen to again in the future is “Cover Me Up.” I hope in future albums, Wallen takes some risks and finds his voice.