Different 'Round Here

Different 'Round Here

There’s a lyric about halfway through Riley Green’s debut album, on “I Wish Grandpas Never Died,” that tells you just about everything you need to know about where he sits in the landscape of modern country: “I wish everybody overseas was gonna make it home/I wish country music still got played on country radio.” Spirited, earnest, and good-humored, Different ’Round Here presents Green as a ’90s-style rebuttal to the eclecticism of current country—not a throwback per se (the baseball hat speaks volumes) so much as a torchbearer for values that have fallen out of fashion. “There Was This Girl” gets a spitfire to the church aisle, “In a Truck Right Now” salutes the freedom found on back roads, and “Get That Man a Beer” flips the old story about the one that got away into an ode to the guy who she ended up with—because boy, did he take a bullet. As for the title track, Green’s smart enough to know that the way of life (and music) that he loves isn’t the mainstream anymore, and that sometimes the most radical decision is to hang on to things just as they are.

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