“One Thing At A Time”- Morgan Wallen Album Review

Story posted March 13, 2023 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by CommRadio Arts and Entertainment department

“Dangerous: The Double Album” has been etched in country music history after claiming the all-time record for the longest duration in the top spot on Billboard’s Country Album chart, so Morgan Wallen’s sequel, a 36-song record, was sure to be placed under a microscope.

The album kicks off with a bang, as Wallen, HARDY and Zach Abend collaborated to write a beautifully told story of a battle with sobriety in a life full of alcohol on “Born With A Beer in My Hand”.

Wallen’s “Last Night”, “Thought You Should Know”, “You Proof” and “One Thing At A Time” are all featured in the first 18 songs on the album, and the chart toppers have aged like fine wine, giving the album a jump start.

The surprise of the first half of the album though came by way of “‘98 Braves”, a song comparing a relationship to the optimism and later, the disappointment of the 1998 Atlanta Braves, with references to Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and those three big pitchers (Smoltz, Maddux & Glavine).

The song is simple in the premise, but the baseball comparisons and the catchy chorus truly make it one of the best songs of the album.

Then, on an album that features expected collaborations with ERNEST and HARDY, both of whom will tour with Wallen this summer, the best duet comes on “Man Made A Bar” as Eric Church joins Wallen for a song about God making the world, but man making the bar as a way to cope with heartbreak.

The two’s vocals complement each other perfectly and the tune will likely be a fixture on mainstream country radio for weeks to come.

The concluding 18 songs on the album share Wallen’s classic-sounding voice and hints toward his possible future with creations with more pop influence. “Neon Star (Country Boy Lullaby)”, “Thinkin’ Bout Me” and “Cowgirls (feat. ERNEST)” all share the new wave of Morgan Wallen’s legacy.

The three songs listed above have obvious pop influences that are perfect for radio. Wallen seems to be pushing his boundaries and it is working; the more versatile his songs become, the more talented and popular he becomes.

Although, within the last half of the album, Wallen uses his voice to share stories of heartbreak, drinking, and southern pride. Wallen, time and time again, is vulnerable in his songs as many of them sound like a diary entry with instruments playing behind them.

Wallen shares moments of vulnerability with more than 21 million people who listen to his Spotify but also vocalizes his confidence. “Me To Me” only has around two million streams, which is considerably low compared to the rest of the album, and is two minutes of a great beat, rhythm, and chorus as he sings, “I don’t know who you’re waiting on but kinda sounds like me to me”.

To finish the 36-track album, Wallen released a sure-to-be iconic and fan favorite, “Dying Man”. He left everything he had throughout the album and closed it off with emotions, great vocals and odes to icons Elvis Presley and Hank Williams.

Morgan Wallen sang about his hardships, and heartbreaks, but shared the love and passion he has for music through his newest album, “One Thing At A Time”.

With each song on the 36-track album, the listener learns more about Wallen, listens to another story of his life, and gets to jam out to some spectacular country music.

Dylan’s Rating: 9/10

Natalie’s Rating:  10/10

Reviewers’ Favorite Songs: “‘98 Braves”, “Man Made A Bar (feat. Eric Church)”, “Cowgirls”, “Dying Man”

Reviewers’ Least Favorite Songs: “Hope That’s True”, “Sunrise”, “I Deserve A Drink” “F150-50”

Dylan Price is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email dvp5625@psu.edu.

Natalie Simone is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email nvs5790@psu.edu.