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Florida Georgia Line

Here's to the Good Times – 2012 (Republic Nashville)

Reviewed by Michael Verity

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CDs by Florida Georgia Line

This record can be summed up with five words: "Def Leppard with a banjo." Replace the leather pants and motorcycle boots with scuffed up Romeos and roughed up jeans and you've transformed England's most successful arena rockers into America's new favorite arena twangers. Switch the Flying V's with mandolins, cover British accents with country twang and replace the girls with big hair with girls with big... and you've got yourself a formula for hit records and sold out concerts.

Cruise, a song with a hook so heavy it could sink a ship, is Pour Some Sugar On Me dressed up in Lynyrd Skynyrd's clothing. It's nearly impossible to hear it and not want to buy yourself a new Chevy with a lift kick. (whatever that is) and get yourself stuck somewhere in the swamps of Jersey. (Note Springsteen reference)

Tip It Back, is a near-perfect drinking song, a tune that adeptly walks the line between uncool abstinence and abject alcoholism. It's a ready made beer commercial, guaranteed to make a beverage brewer swoon and parents of at-risk children wish they had a lobby as strong as Budweiser's. (Note social commentary)

Tell Me How You Like It is a bit more subtle, more like Eddie Money or Journey than Def Leppard, but the lyrics are still pure country. There's a deer on the back of the car (or possibly in the back of the car) and, it seems, Daddy is up in heaven and he's still whooping ass. How they know ass-whooping is allowed beyond The Pearly Gates is not entirely clear. (Note philosophical confusion)

This isn't to say this is a bad record. In fact, it's a great record, if you like overtly commercial country (which, it appears, many people do.). It has all the arena rock thrust of Rock Of Ages, all the melodic intensity of Photograph and all the party-hearty buzz of High N' Dry.

And/I> it has banjos! Just don't listen to it wearing a ripped up Union Jack T-Shirt while slugging down a Guinness. That would be un-American.