Chris Young, “Aw Naw” – Single Review


Chris Young is one of the best male vocalists in contemporary Country music.

For the man who brought us the stellar "The Man I Want to Be" and the sensational "Tomorrow" (among countless album cuts that never saw the light of day), I'm rather perplexed on his laundry-list, yee-haw attempt with "Aw Naw."

I suppose I should have expected him to throw his cowboy hat-wearing self into the ring. This is the kind of song the leading men of Nashville are expected to release these days. Take a look to Jason Aldean's "1994" and Blake Shelton's "Boys 'Round Here," as examples. If this were a female releasing a song like this, it just wouldn't fly in any way, shape or form. (Anyone remember Gretchen Wilson?) However, because Chris is a charming 20-something, he gets a free pass. I digress.

The production is, perhaps, the best thing about this track.

Right from the start, the electric guitar fuels the rock-influenced tune into a complete jamfest and supplies it with a vibrant energy that is simply perfect for summer. As is the trend these days, a hot uptempo number just might give Chris the boost he needs to take his career to the next level. The thumping bass acts like a boisterous metronome, keeping time with the syncopated rhythm and doesn't give much freedom to experiement with the cliched melody. I can't put my finger on it, but I feel like I've heard this exact same forceful drive many times before.

Regardless, the authoritative production catapults the rather bland, party lyrics (and subsequent Patron references) right into the stratosphere. There's no doubt in my mind that the same crowd that is in love with current Blake, Jason, Luke Bryan and Hunter Hayes singles will eat this up. This will be a radio hit. Looking past the superb, interestingly layered production, there isn't much else to sink your teeth into.

The story is a late-night binge drinking blowout, leaving Chris (as the narrator) worried that he should be heading home. He has to work in the morning, but who cares?! It's time to party. The lyrics are rather generalistic, and it never really goes anywhere or say anthing other than to proclaim, "I'm Country, and I love to party."

I will give it to him, though, Chris' conviction with which he sings such lines as "It’ll be so wrong if we didn’t dance one, show off those jeans you painted on," is impressive. He must really believe in the idea of paint that looks like jeans. The hook itself is super catchy, and as I've been listening to the tune about 20 times to write this review, I can assure you that the rousing chorus of "Aw Naw"s is already wedged between my ears.

Vocally, Chris sounds terrific. There is even a slight grit to his delivery, with a few glory notes peppered in for good measure. The peak of the track comes towards the end as Chris builds the melody to a fevered pitch. I give him credit for his voice keeping with with the bellowing production, even taking over the reigns seconds before the guitar solo. So many times before, the focus becomes about the steel guitars and how loud the drums can go than actual vocal talent. He does not disappoint in this department.

Overall Grade: B-


Yeah, I think I’m gonna leave
I’ll just have that one drink
And we’ve all gotta be up early

Boys, we oughta shut’er down
Just take it to the house
‘Fore anybody starts getting crazy

I started walking across the floor
Before I got to the door

Aw Naw
Somebody just bought a
Shot of that Patron
Hang on, I just might have to stay hey
Aw Naw
Look at the time y’all
What happend to coats on
Long gone
I should be half way home but
Aw Naw

Girl I saw you come in
With all of your girlfriends
Just cutting up and shooting Bacardi
I got my boys with me
We’re just rolling on steam
Not looking to pick up anybody

I was gonna walk on by
You turned around and we locked eyes

Aw Naw
Do you hear that song
Oh one that just came on
C’mon DJ what you tryin’ to do
Aw Naw
It’ll be so wrong
If we didn’t dance one
Show off, Those jeans you painted on
Aw Naw, Aw Naw

No I didn’t mean to be here this long,
And I tried to leave so it ain’t my fault
No I didn’t mean to be holding you
But tell me what was I suppose to do

Aw Naw
Somebody just bought a
Shot of that Patron
Hang on, We’ve been here all night long
Aw Naw,
It’ll be so wrong
If we didn’t dance one more song
Show off, Those jeans you painted on
Aw Naw, Yea Aw Naw
Those jeans you painted on
Aw Naw


Take a listen:


Did you love or hate this review? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter. Also, you can email me if you want to comment further, in length. 


Brett Eldredge’s wig game is spot on

There are two types of artists who hit Nashville around CMA Fest time: Those who hide from fans and are only there to perform and those who go out and immerse themselves in all the fun. We clearly know which side Brett Eldredge is on.

Read More »