Editors’ Notes Colt Ford’s fifth album, Thanks for Listening, is filled with the genre-bending fusions that define contemporary country—the Georgia singer/songwriter offers half-sung, half-rapped tunes about muddy trucks, Southern hotties, and homemade moonshine that are backed by banjos and drum sequencers. His mission, at least on the guitar-driven “Washed in the Mud,” is to "celebrate that country life that we love so much.” But the rap-inflected beats throughout much of Thanks for Listening demonstrate just how much artists like Ford (and his star-studded guest list, which includes Keith Urban, Lee Brice, and Randy Houser) have blurred the genre's conventional boundaries. When Ford offers straight-ahead pop-country party anthems (like the title track or "Farm Life”), his magnetic melodies and raunchy sense of humor shine. But a wildly eclectic tune like “Crank It Up”—with its laser-cut synth-bass, Auto-Tune vocals, and borrowed AC/DC riff—is where Ford is his most gleefully creative, orchestrating a delightfully chaotic collision of trends from across the pop spectrum.

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