Brian Kelley ‘Sunshine State of Mind’ Album Review

Brian Kelley, ½ of superstar duo Florida-Georgia Line, released his debut solo album Sunshine State of Mind on Friday, June 25. Referring to himself as the “Beach Cowboy,” Kelley delivers what is sure to be a staple album of the summer. Every song is infused with island meets backroad nuances. Exactly what Kelley intended the album to be.

Co-produced and entirely co-written, Kelley proves he’s a “Florida Boy Forever” as he steps into this new chapter of his career. “They say write what you know, and this is the first time I really wrote for me,” the singer shared. Meanwhile, Kelley is still keeping busy with Florida Georgia Line. The duo released their latest album Life Rolls On in February, and they announced tour dates for this year.

Kelley takes his music back to his roots as he loved growing up by the ocean. His love for life’s simplicities are mentioned throughout the album. “Made By The Water” further details those ideals. The catchy melody in “Sunday Service In The Sand” reinforces how meaningful the beach has been to Kelley. “This project came from a real place – my experiences as a kid in Florida, getting away, and finally moving back – and it’s just been a very life–giving thing for me,” said Kelley.

If half the inspiration for this album was Kelley’s love for the beach, the other half comes from his wife Brittney. On “Sunburnt, Barefoot & In Love” and “Songs For You,” the love between the two can easily be felt. Kelley is able to find just as much peace at home as he does by the waves. A stand-out from the album is “Don’t Take Much.” Kelley sings, “When you got a love like ours, beach front blanket and a blanket of stars is enough.”

“Sunshine State of Mind” wouldn’t be a true Kelley record without those feel-good party songs. “Real Good Day” and “Party On The Beach” would make anyone’s mood instantly brighter. Need the perfect song to listen to while out on a boat? “Fish All Day” can be the backdrop to any good time on the water. “Fish all day, love all night, saltwater kisses and a key-lime pie.” Track-by-track, this album is perfect for driving with the windows down with the music on high.

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