Tyler Hubbard—the Georgia half of the Florida Georgia Line equation—made his full-length debut as a solo artist with his 2023 self-titled LP. Now, Hubbard is opening for some of the same acts who once opened for FGL, and subsequently experiencing a second rise to fame a little over a decade after the duo broke out with “Cruise.” For this sophomore effort, Hubbard tells Apple Music he relished in reconnecting with fans, testing material during live shows and keeping tabs on which tunes seemed to resonate most. “A lot of this album was born on the road, was written on the road,” Hubbard says. “So I have the fans to thank. I feel like it was reverse-engineered a bit and inspired by the fans, and written for the fans and for the live show.” Strong opens with “Wish You Would,” an infectiously optimistic love song that sonically lands somewhere between Eric Church and Keith Urban. “American Mellencamp” pays tribute to its namesake and a simple style of living, with appropriately crunchy heartland rock production. On the title track, Hubbard celebrates lasting relationships, with John Mayer-style guitar flourishes and a cascading chorus melody. And highlight “'73 Beetle,” which Hubbard wrote solo, recounts a fond memory of a baby-blue Volkswagen he restored with his late father. Below, Hubbard breaks down a handful of key tracks. “Take Me Back” “I have an interesting relationship, I would say, with my hometown. So it was fun to write my hometown a letter, if you will, in that song. And also in our genre, there's so much pride in where you came from. Everybody's proud of their hometown, which I'm not saying I'm not proud of it—I'm very proud of where I came from—but maybe I wish that I still had that relationship with it, and it was equally as proud. Now I'm like, ‘Well, it served me well while I was there.’ But I had to leave to grow.” “'73 Beetle” “That song was written very similarly to how ‘Miss My Daddy’ was written—just in a time of being alone with my thoughts, wanting to write a song. Neither one of those songs did I ever intend on really putting on an album or releasing it. I just wrote for me, wrote them for probably therapeutic purposes, or to tell my kids about it or whatever the case is. And I feel like when I was putting this project together, I heard that song in the mix and I was like, it may be nice to have a follow-up, if you will, to ‘Miss My Daddy’ and let the fans in even more on a personal side of who I am, in kind of a cool way and a fun story and a very true story.” “Strong” “That word, when you really think about it, to me, it has a lot of depth. It has a lot of layers to it. If you listen to the song itself, it really touches on the strength in my marriage and within [my] relationships. And that's valuable to me, not only my marriage, but my friendships and any relationship that you build strength in, through time and work and all the things that it takes. So, yeah, that word's very dynamic for me, and it feels like something that's close to my heart. I'm always trying to get stronger, literally and figuratively as well, and relationally. So it just felt appropriate at the time.”

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