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'Anything Goes' review: Florida Georgia Line sticks to formula

"Anything Goes" by Florida Georgia Line. Photo Credit: AP / Big Machine Records

Despite the outlaw country trappings, Florida Georgia Line is a pretty straightforward band, perfectly suited for the current "bro country"-dominated world.

On "Anything Goes" (Big Machine), Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard stick with the formula that made them country's hottest new band -- a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, a whole lot of songs about beer and, you know, other stuff. Why break what isn't busted, right?

"All I wanna do today is wear my favorite shades and get stoned," they sing in "Sun Daze," as if there was any question.

What set Florida Georgia Line apart from the pack, though, was their embrace of hip-hop, which is less evident on "Anything Goes." Instead, the duo packs as many syllables as it can into a verse the way many of today's R&B singers do, though the effect is less soulful and more rhythmic. Neither Kelley or Hubbard have stand-out voices, but they sure use them well, rarely leaving their respective sweet spots so that they always sound pretty laid back.

"Sippin' on Fire," which oddly opens with a guitar riff that sounds like the opening to "Growing Pains," is the closest the guys come to stretching musically. They are far more effective when they stretch lyrically -- especially on the lovely ode to home ownership, "Dirt," declaring, "You write her name on it, spin your tires on it."

"Dirt" shows that the Florida Georgia Line bros could have a future once they get tired of living in the present.


"Anything Goes"

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BOTTOM LINE Predictable country that's predictably good.


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