Album Review: Chris Young - “Losing Sleep”

Newest Grand Ole Opry member returns with seventh album for RCA Records and his first batch of songs wholly written by Chris Young and his co-writers.

With eight #1 singles to his credit (and all three tracks from his previous project I’m Comin’ Over), Chris Young certainly could continue to release the kinds of songs that has built him into a headlining touring artist who also is now a Grand Ole Opry member. Instead, he’s mostly taking a chance with Losing Sleep by expanding on what made I’m Comin’ Over so popular. Uptempo songs are crisp with production choices which are contemporary but don’t ever sound over done while the ballads, the place where Chris Young has always shined the most, remain some of the most satisfying moments on Losing Sleep.

“She’s Got A Way” feels like a perfect piece of ear candy for both radio airplay and a live show. It’s a sing-a-long ready song which finds Young singing about the type of woman who just takes his attention from things he should be doing, no matter what it is that she’s doing. Lead single, title track and opener "Losing Sleep" may recall Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” in the intro/verses melodically but it also blends the relaxed balladry from Young’s stocked arsenal in the verses with a frantic chorus which is part of what makes the song work as well as it does and why it’s the anchor for this record.Speaking of ballads, there’s a silky “retro” groove to “Holiday,” a song which works well as a thematic partner for “She’s Got A Way” meanwhile “Radio And The Rain” has some really interesting production choices creating a memorable moody mid-tempo ballad.

There are usually a handful of “wow moments” on a Chris Young record and “Where I Go To Drink” is one such moment on the album. A powerful ballad full of heartache and loss and has some really clever lyrical turn of phrase that recalls cowriter Trent Tomlinson’s own work. Album closer “Blacked Out” is another “wow moment” for Chris Young. it’s another ballad, of course, but it definitely has lyrics which correlate heartache and loss to various ways one can be “blacked out.” “Leave Me Wanting More” feels like another “wow moment” a moment which could work better than the other two on modern radio with a theme anyone deeply in love can relate to while also having a bit more tempo to the production and melody.

Seven albums into his career, Chris Young has found a sonic groove with Losing Sleep. The album, which is a brief 10 tracks (11 if you buy the CD from Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores), was completely co-written and co-produced by the star vocalist and it showcases him firmly in control of his career and the music he’s making.