For his ninth studio album, "When The Good Guys Win," Granger Smith used outside writers for half the 14 tracks. It is appropriate that Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard has a co-write credit. Much like FGL's sound, this effort feels like it was presented to a focus group of contemporary country listeners for approval before the final cut. The production is glossy, the melodies catchy and the themes bro country.The opening track sets the tone for the 49-minute collection. "Gimme Something" is a bouncy sing along tailor made for the airwaves.
"Four Wheel Drive" is a somewhat clever pun on riding until the blacktop ends in, you guessed it, a 4x4.
"Home Cooked Meal" has the most depth, citing society's obsession with the fast-paced life and the underlying need for family time and general togetherness to regain focus. It is a welcome ballad that lays off the catchy chords and has a slower, more meaningful delivery.
Smith has been around since 1999 when he was 19 years old cutting raw demos at Texas A&M. Those lean years spawned the Billboard Country Airplay chart topper, "Backroad Song" eventually in 2016 and later that year the release of his major label debut, "Remington." It produced the Top 10 hit "If The Boot Fits." Though also contemporary leaning at that time, there was more twang in his baritone, a little more Telecaster in the mix and lyrics worthy of the farm country and oversized pickups in the videos. He's a long way from that on this album.