‘Dangerous: The Double Album’ earns universal praise

Latest Morgan Wallen album is a listening delight the entire way through

Ali Smith, roundtable editor

Mark my words: “Dangerous: The Double Album” will be the Album of the Year.
I say this with confidence because, although I may be biased based on Morgan Wallen’s charm and angelic voice, there is not one bad song on this album. Not even one of these twangy tracks are skip-worthy.
The album is composed of 30 songs, all worthy of full-volume speakers and scream singing. Wallen’s lyricism is clear through his deeply emotional metaphors to begin, and his more upbeat, country-classic end, which is brought full circle by “Quittin’ Time,” which rounds out the album.
To begin his record-breaking album, Wallen pulls on the heart strings of his fans with “Sand in My Boots.” To offset his controversial social actions over the COVID-19 pandemic, Wallen begins his third album with a sentimental song to show his softer side: the side he committed to bring forth after the birth of his first son in July 2020.
This song laments a beach trip where Wallen found romance and hoped to continue this relationship only to be left disappointed and stood up, heading home alone in his beat-up Silverado.
To continue the heartbroken tone of the first album, Wallen moves forward from his pain with “Wasted on You,” which has been a hit because today, pain sells. This track has an interesting pop-like beat that makes the song. It is perfect for anyone who has ever had their heart broken and can relate to how used they may feel, and how they, physically or metaphorically, get wasted trying to get over the heartbreak. This, along with the other tracks about drinking, connect the listener to his first hit song, “Whiskey Glasses.”
Third comes a personal favorite, “Somebody’s Problem,” which talks about a good girl who was left all alone and considered a problem by her past partner. Wallen appeals to his female listeners with his lyrics by saying all the right things to a heartbroken girl and aiming to pick up the broken pieces left behind by another man.
Next up is “More Surprised Than Me,” which is a humbling song about how lucky Wallen feels to be with a girl completely out of his league, and how surprised everyone else is that she settled for a “good ole boy” like him.
Fifth is “865,” a catchy tune about drunk dialing someone you want to meet up with one more time — for closure, that is. I called in hopes the number would lead me to Wallen, but to no avail.
The sixth track, “Warning,” is about how Wallen feels stuck in a toxic cycle of late-night texts and bad decisions. He wishes someone or something would warn him that the outcome will never be different, and that time and time again he will be left disappointed.
“Neon Eyes” comes seventh, and is a catchy tune with an upbeat tempo. This song illustrates the bar scene decorated with neon lights, which in turn reflect the eyes of a lonely girl, waiting for Wallen to sweep her off her feet onto the dance floor.
“Outlaw” has a slow tempo that reflects the Western scene and makes recognizable mentions, most notably, Annie Oakley, the American sharpshooter.
Ninth is “Whiskey’d My Way,” which continues Wallen’s reputation for using alcohol to get over his heart breakups.
“Wonderin’ About the Wind” is a deeply metaphorical song, relating a woman to the wind: unpredictable, ever-changing and at times disappearing without warning. This is one of Wallen’s most vulnerable tracks.
“Your Bartender” is a collective favorite amongst Gannon University students, perhaps because it reflects upon chasing a relationship when the feelings aren’t reciprocated, which at one time or another most people have experienced.
Chris Stapleton features on the next song “Only Thing That’s Gone,” which only seems fitting as they are both big fans of Tennessee and whiskey. Although this song conveys a sad message, it has a fun, satirical sound, which breaks up the sad tone of the first album.
At No. 13 is “Cover Me Up,” a song Wallen released as a single before the album debuted. This is an extremely vulnerable tune that was transformed into an even more powerful yet heartbreaking short film on Youtube, which tastefully covers the topic of veteran suicide.
Second to last is “7 Summers,” which was also a single before the release of the album. This song is all about nostalgia and the feeling of regret regarding past relationships and exploring the painful reality of the “what ifs.”
Last up on the first side of the album is “More Than My Hometown.” This song was a teaser for the hit album and floored the country community with its charm and musicality. As someone who left her hometown for a big city after high school, I can relate to this song in that, as someone who loves her small town, I couldn’t live without it, which has brought me here to Gannon.
Moving onto album two, the tempo picks up synchronously with Wallen’s morale. “Still Goin’ Down” is the first song, which carries over the sentimental hometown feel from “More Than My Hometown.” It has a warm, summery feel, which is illustrated by the lyrics.
“Rednecks, Red Letters, Red Dirt” is the second song on album two, which revives the classical country feel with its devotion to the country-boy stereotype.
Third is “Dangerous,” which is also the title of the album. Despite its dark title, this is actually an upbeat song embracing the fun that can be hidden between the lines of bad decisions. It would make a great summertime music video.
Next up is “Beer Don’t,” which carries on Wallen’s theme of leaning on booze to end a long week, day or heartbreak. This song was definitely crafted for the blue-collar bar scene.
“Blame it on Me” is track five, which describes Wallen’s fantasy of transforming a city girl into a cowgirl and allowing himself to take the blame for changing her tastes and her personality. Who wouldn’t fall in love with east Tennessee after a weekend with Morgan Wallen?
“Somethin’ Country” is a great song to kick up some dust to, and it furthers the temptation to become a country girl after “Blame it on Me.”
Seventh, “This Bar,” was a single released before the album’s debut, and is one of the most sentimental tracks on the second album. Every small town has that one bar, or one bar only, where a few have found themselves, after finding the bottom of the bottle, that is. However, mistakes make memories. You live and you learn, right?
The tone is amped back up with the next song, which is all about crazy country boys spending the weekend the best way they know how.
“Whatcha Think of Country Now” is ninth, and it furthers Wallen’s dreams of converting a pretty blondie into Daisy Duke.
“Me on Whiskey” is a romantic song that seems to describe a weekend routine between Wallen and one of his loves, which usually ends with a feeling of intimacy and looking forward to the next time where they can do it all over again.
“Need a Boat” is the perfect fishing tune for any country boy, or girl, and describes that for some, all they need is a day on the water to feel whole again. The tempo of this song is a playful one that cuts through the seriousness of its predecessor.
“Silverado for Sale” slows the tempo and begins to bring the double album full circle. This ballad describes the sale of an old pickup truck, filled with amazing memories, for the purchase of an engagement ring. Wallen hopes to pass on the tradition of falling in love on the beat-up bench seat by selling the truck in the local paper to some wide-eyed teenage kid looking for his forever.
“Heartless (Wallen Album Mix)” is a country version of the viral duet Wallen released with Diplo, which trended on Tik Tok after its release. Amongst fans, this is the preferred version because the pop-mix was overplayed on social media, which doubtlessly detracted from its value.
Next is “Livin’ the Dream,” where Wallen describes the downfalls to fame, including drugs, alcohol and serious time away from those who matter most. It makes the listener feel sorry for Wallen and have a better understanding of his outlook, as he has gotten himself into trouble with the music industry for violating COVID-19 policies recently.
Last but certainly not least is “Quittin’ Time,” which brings the album to a close with the tone it opened with. It describes a relationship that has been exhausted, and the melancholy feeling that is associated with knowing it is the end. It is never easy to let go, but sometimes it is what is best for everyone, and with that, Wallen releases his listeners.
However, if you’re anything like me, you can’t help but start the album all over again.