Dig Your Roots is the followup to Florida Georgia Line’s 2014 album Anything Goes. That album was a smash and I think this one will be too, because people buy this solely because it’s a country album and not for its quality. This album is atrocious. To start “Smooth” is far too familiar to every other filler song on any of their albums. As a title track “Dig Your Roots” is a mess and I hope they found those roots deep down because while we’re putting the dirt pack let us all assure you bury this dumpster fire of a song with it. I have to wonder what the thought process was behind “Life is a Honeymoon” fire off the island feel and reference to “cervezas” is just weird. Dragging Ziggy Marley into this garbage track is inexcusable and the song has no idea what it’s identity is.
The single, “H.O.L.Y.”, is perhaps musically the simplest of tracks, but it’s fine. Sure, it is cheesy and overly sentimental, but hey, it’s better than literally every other song on this album. With “Island” the band can’t seem to break theme and stick to allegorizing the women they love. This time there on an island instead of the moon. The metaphor doesn’t really matter and neither does this song. Tim McGraw joins the party for “May We All” which is so riddled with cliches that I really don’t know what to say, other than to apologize to all of you reading this for placing the video in this review.
“Summerland” is your standard mash of Tyler Hubbard’s singing with weird auto-tune on top. Par for the course here really. An uninteresting chorus does lead to a pretty good steel pedal section 2 thirds of the way through. Brian Kelley takes over lead vocals on “Lifer” which seems less like a country and a more desperate ploy to be cool. Kelley croons about George Strait, but Florida Georgia Line are no products of that living legent. So with “Good Girl, Bad Boy” we get a very plain story about a girl, dirt road…err sorry gravel road (because that makes it different you know) and some sort of automobile. She may be so good but this song is certainly one bad boy, a very bad awful boy. “Wish You Were On It” is just a terrible song. It features a strange time signature and really odd pacing on top of that.
You know what this album really needs? If you guessed an appearance from the Backstreet Boys, you’re right. While “God, You’re Mama and Me” is a decent country song, it’s a fairly good showing for the Backstreet Boys. The song features guitars and actual instruments underneath a basic boy band beat. It’s also very obvious that Brian Litrell is a much better singer than either member of Florida Georgia Line. Even if they only amounted to a cameo, the Backstreet Boys’ apprearence broke up the monotony.
You can practically play a drinking game out of how often this band mentions candles or angels in their lyrics. If you do, by the time you hit “Music is Healing”, you’re going to be hammered. The next track “While He’s Still Around” tries to play to my own sympathies – my father passed in 2011 and it crushed me – and it does not work. This is normally the sort of thing that would hit me emotionally but here, it feels lost in a drunken haze.
“Grow Old” wants to be the next great country ballad, and break the band’s “bro-country” label, but it doesn’t work. They should leave the ballads to Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley. “Heatwave” is a garbage closer. Someone should have called B.O.B. about the bridge of the song, because it’s way too reminiscent to “Airplanes” for comfort.
Florida Georgia Line tried to make something of themselves on Dig Your Roots, but it winds up being a terrible album. The band goes in too deep and too heavy on ballad, and it winds up flat and cheesy. Kelly and Hubbard should stick to the songs about girls, beer and cars. It suits them better than this.