Canaan Smith ‘High Country Sound Album Review

In our recent interview with Canaan Smith, the gritty, country singer-songwriter spoke about his career and said, “It’s been a really productive sort of God-Ordained, full-circle moment, I think, where he is just giving me this chance in life to just start over, and I’ve grown up a lot since the last one, so what I value and my perspective is different, I’m not feeling any pressure with this, I’m not measuring its success up against chart positions or streaming numbers or likes or comments and all that stuff, it came from a place that this is truly is the kind of music I want to make.” Read more about the full length album below.


His sophomore album, High Country Sound is a follow up to Bronco, his debut studio album which was released back in 2015. High Country Sound is also Smith’s first release after being signed by Round Here Records, a label started by Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley who he knew in college at Belmont University.

High Country Sound starts off with “Grounded” a song about staying true to his roots and remembering where he came from. The song, and the album itself, opens with the lines “I been down a thousand roads / but I still hold on to my hometown area code.” The lyrics in this song keep Smith’s promise for this record as he is simply telling the truth and recalling memories from his teen years. The final chorus of the song is a highlight when he directly addresses people and moments who shaped him as a person. “I’m glad my Daddy took my keys when he caught me drinkin’ beer / And I can’t blame the coach who benched my ass my junior year / And everyone along the way whoever gave a damn / Y’all made me who I am.”

The second half of the album is stronger than the first half; it flows better and the production is more interesting to listen to. Songs like “Cabin In The Woods” and “Like I Ain’t Missing You” both have gorgeous strings in their instrumentations that make them stand out among the other tracks. “Like I Ain’t Missing You” also has gorgeous layered vocals at the end of the track while the violin plays underneath them making the outro of this song one of the best parts of the whole album.


The highest point on the album comes with track eight, “Sweet Virginia,” a song he wrote with the duo of Florida Georgia Line as well as Corey Crowder. Smith is originally from Virginia and even named his daughter who was born in 2019, Virginia. This song has some of the best lyricism on the project with exciting wordplay; this makes sense as Smith is known for his songwriting skills as he has penned tracks that have been recorded by Jason Aldean, Billy Ray Cyrus, RaeLynn, Cole Swindell, and Mason Ramsey. This song can be interpreted as Smith talking about his home state or a girl, most likely his daughter. At the end of the second verse, Smith sings, “You’re in everything I do / Maybe gone, but never far / Home is always where you are.” Honeyed by the most vulnerable lyrics on High Country Sound and just by hearing the words, it is easy to tell that Smith treasures where and who he is talking about (the women in his life). On Instagram, Smith shared a screenshot of a message he got from a friend who told him that this song “Inspired me to call some college buddies I haven’t talked to in a while and reminisce the old days floating on the river, hiking the mountains, and taking 81 down to Winchester.” Clearly, this song hits homes both literally and figuratively.

The album closes with “Losing Sleep Over A Girl,” another one inspired by the ladies who have a huge impact on Smith. It tells a clear story and showcases the vivid picture that plays in the mind as Smith celebrates the meeting of his wife and their early dates. In the first verse, he appreciates the little things such as the George Strait show they went to together, her sunflower perfume, and her overprotective dad. The second verse is about their life progressing as the two buy a house and the togetherness that comes along with that. The bridge of the song is where it takes a sentimental turn, “Now it’s baby girl cryin’ / And my turn to feed her / God, knows I’m dog tired but ain’t nothin’ sweeter / Than every time I see her.” The same chorus that was used to describe Smith’s euphoric feelings towards his wife proceeds the bridge but this time, it’s about fatherhood and his newly found fascination with his daughter. “Lost in the moment, still lost in her eyes / As the sun made its way ‘cross the dark side of the world / And here I go again, yeah / Losing sleep over a girl.”

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