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Chris Young’s New Album ‘Famous Friends’ Is ‘Organic From Top to Bottom’ (Exclusive)

chris-young’s-new-album-‘famous-friends’-is-‘organic-from-top-to-bottom’-(exclusive)

After a long wait, Chris Young‘s eighth studio album has officially arrived, with the country star releasing Famous Friends on Friday, Aug. 6. The 14-song project features a number of collaborations and co-writing credits by Young on all but one song, as well as the signature sound that the Tennessee native’s fans have come to know and love over the years.

“I think if you listen to this album top to bottom, it probably doesn’t on any specific track step away from what the core is, which is just kind of keeping the same sound that I play with live on the road,” Young told PopCulture.com. Whether Young is singing over soft guitars on “Tonight We’re Dancing” or country party production on “One of Them Nights,” the project retains a through line thanks to the 36-year-old’s unmistakable voice.

“My voice is something that is obviously really important to the track with my name on it,” he noted. “But having that forward and front in center is something that’s really important to me. Where it’s not touched with too much, just kind of sounds like what I sound like. Really making that a focal point for everything.”

Young hunkered down at home in 2020 and wrote so many songs for the project that he can’t even count them. He released a number of songs ahead of the album’s arrival including “Raised on Country,” “Drowning” and “Town Ain’t Big Enough,” but maintains that the album would have been completely different had he released it before the pandemic.

“Every album is at that snapshot in time of what you’re doing right then as an artist,” he said. “I think this one just needed the amount of time that it took and wouldn’t be the same record if I had put a record out in 2019. That’s kind of that little blessing in disguise moment of going through 2020 and having the time in the studio. That’s the bright spot that comes out of that.”

Famous Friends runs the gamut from love songs to beer songs, and Young shared that choosing the final list from the numerous songs he’d written was simply about “trying to just find the 14 that fit together the best.” “It was really organic from top to bottom,” he said. “I know that word gets used a lot, but that was the way that they came together.”

The album gained its name not only from its title track, which recently spent two weeks at No. 1, but from the roster of famous friends Young recruited to help him write, produce and perform the project. Along with duets with Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina and Mitchell Tenpenny, as well as backing vocals from Dan Shay‘s Shay Mooney and Sarah Buxton, Famous Friends includes writing and production credits from major Nashville players like Hillary Lindsey, Chris DeStefano, Corey Crowder, Rhett Akins and more.

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“There’s everything from guys that I’ve known my entire 15-year career and have been writing with since I got signed to Sony to [songwriter] Mark Holman, we’ve never been together until this album,” Young reflected. “I think there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. Some of the players on this record are just fantastic and get nominated for the Musician of the Year Award constantly, and there’s so many people that lent parts of themselves to this album being created.”

“It made a lot of sense, not just because the single was going to number one and called ‘Famous Friends,’ but because of the way the album was made and because of all the people and the talent that contributed to it in different ways. Naming this album Famous Friends was perfect.” You can listen to Famous Friends here.

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