Due to the success of his self-titled debut album, Cole Swindell released a follow-up EP Down Home Sessions on Nov. 17.
Little did Swindell know his role as Luke Bryan’s merch seller would be interrupted by the start of his own musical career. Born in Bronwood, Georgia, Swindell attended Georgia Southern University, where he met and became fraternity brothers with Bryan. The singer proved to be a successful songwriter after writing a large portion of Bryan’s most recent songs, “Outta My Head” by Craig Campbell, and rising star Thomas Rhett’s biggest hit “Get Me Some of That.” In 2013, he released his biggest hit to date, “Chillin’ It” independently and later signed with a label after the single showed some headway up the charts.
His first single simultaneously became his first No. 1 song, certified platinum by RIAA. His debut album, Cole Swindell, rose to No. 3 on the US chart and No. 2 on the US Country chart. He was invited to open on Luke Bryan’s That’s My Kind of Night Tour and promoted his album there, while selling over 200,000 copies. He also claimed the title of New Artist of the Year at the 2013 CMA Awards. Swindell has achieved a monumental amount of success just in the 11 months since his career kicked off.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Swindell said:
“The fans are always wanting new music, and with as much as I love to write I might as well give them the music while I’ve got it. I just don’t want any songs to go unheard.”
Swindell has achieved a high honor in such a short time, headlining his own Down Home Tour this year and heading on tour with superstar Jason Aldean next year. What better way to prepare for a tour than release some new music? The EP will consist of songs that wouldn’t fit on his debut album. With so much success in songwriting, it’s no surprise the singer had an excess of material.
Unfortunately, Swindell’s songwriting abilities come up short on this album. “Ready” kicks off the EP with the typical country song about a beautiful girl and her dance moves. Groundbreaking, right? If anything, this song is an unoriginal attempt at every top hit in the country genre. It seems the headliners he’s opening for have a heavy influence on his own music.
“The Way You’re Lovin’ Me Now” sounds similar if not exactly the same, echoing the style of Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. The next song, “Kiss,” is, you guessed it, exactly the same. Over half the EP sounds like the same song, and listeners will be bored after the first minute. If you’re looking for some mediocre country love songs, this is a must-have.
The Down Home Sessions EP contains five songs that sound exactly the same. Swindell makes a feeble attempt at being “one of the guys” sitting atop the charts with the same material continuously heard on country radio. If he would stop trying to imitate the artists he opens for on tour, he would stand a decent chance of releasing some unique music.