‘BK’s Wave Pack’ EP – a four song project from Brian Kelley, one half of Florida Georgia Line is officially here.
Florida Georgia Line has established themselves as one of the biggest acts in country music over the past decade. The duo has had 18 #1 singles, billions of streams, and have played to over 4 million fans since their record-shattering 2012 debut with the single “Cruise.” As popular as FGL has become, many traditional country listeners blame them for ushering in the bro-country movement. They may not be everybody’s cup of tea, however, it is hard to deny the fact that they are talented at what they do and are MASSIVELY successful.
Over the past year, the duo decided that they would start releasing solo material in addition to their work as Florida Georgia Line. The first release being Brian Kelley’s “Bk’s Wave Pack.”
After the release of their last record, the boys took a few months off. Kelley dedicated his time to hanging at home, fishing, and spending time with his wife. It was this time off in Florida that inspired his new project. Every song is an homage to beach life. The album is so beach-focused it sounds like it could have been co-written by Jimmy Buffett. The upbeat, relaxed vibes on this record provide the perfect backdrop for a day on the water.
The opening track’s first few bars sound like it could be launching into a cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” This is remedied quickly with the introduction of Kelley’s swag-filled vocals which set the scene of rolling into a beach town like a cowboy riding through the old west. The chorus then kicks in expanding on the verse’s feel with R&B style harmonies. BK stakes his claim as a beach cowboy “going John Wayne on these waves.”
Overall “Beach Cowboy” remains consistent groove-wise though remains interesting with a catchy melody, great harmonies, tasty slide/steelwork, and fiery Spanish guitars. It’s a fun song and could make for a smart single release.
“Made By The Water“
This track is more of a return to form and could easily fit on a Florida Georgia Line album. Being born in Daytona, “Made By The Water” could be construed as a double meaning. Though in this case, it’s about making love by the water. A bit of a tired premise in country, though his approach is refreshing, describing a day on the sand falling for a tie-dye wearing beauty. The lyrics on this track will definitely make you want to take a week off at the beach with your special someone.
The drums are great, kicks and claps are soon joined by a hi-hat part that’ll probably get you beatboxing. The steel and banjo work definitely provide the sonic goodies on this one.
“Party On The Beach“
Sometimes songs sound alike due to coincidence or the subconscious of the writer thinking, “this sounds like a hit”, not realizing it already is. While this one is probably an innocent coincidence, the verses in “Party On The Beach” are reminiscent of Chris Young’s 2009 hit “Gettin’ You Home.” Listen to how the melodies of each song start and the phrasing throughout the verse. Both verses also follow the same chord progression of Am D G.
While the song is good and fun, we can’t hear it without thinking of “Gettin’ You Home.”
“Sunday Service In The Sand“
When we look out at the vastness of the ocean, the depth of the Grand Canyon, or lay down under a blanket of stars, it’s hard to not be inspired. For those who believe in a creator, seeing the beauty of the world is a reflection of God’s power, grace, and infinite nature. Views like these make us feel small and like we are part of something much bigger.
“Sunday Service In The Sand” expresses this sentiment. Kelley paints the picture of sitting on a beach chair praying and thanking God as he watches the churning of the ocean in awe. Lines such as “watching them white caps crashing over my sins” bring baptism to the beach life, focusing on God, yet keeping with the oceanside theme of the album.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable album and a great start for Kelley’s solo career. The songs are catchy, laid back, yet still full of energy. It’s only four songs, but the tunes are different enough to feel like a longer album. Some listeners may have trouble getting into it being that every track is about the beach, but if that’s the vibe you’re looking for, this album delivers. Hopefully, the songs will hold up for any winter tour dates he puts on the books!
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