Country music star Chase Rice recently released the final chapter of his multi-part project, via BBR Music Group/Broken Bow Records. With over 1.7 billion career streams to date, Chase is bringing his distinctive sonic qualities and singalong choruses to the final four songs on the new record called The Album.
The full project includes all 11 previously released songs as well as four new tracks: smash-hit “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” featuring Florida Georgia Line, along with three brand new songs.
Rice first surprised fans with The Album Part I in January 2020, releasing seven songs (including Top 10 hit “Lonely If You Are”) with the promise of more to follow shortly thereafter. The Album Part II brought four additional songs, part of Rice’s desire to give fans new music more frequently than traditional album cycles allow.
“It’s crazy to look back now and see the journey this album has taken us on throughout writing and recording it,” notes Rice. “We shared so many of these songs with the fans as they were being written and got their input along the way – so it’s their journey that lives in these, too. I think this new music will always mean a bit more to me since it has carried us all through some strange and uncertain times.”
Congratulations on the release of the final chapter of your multi-part project, The Album. What made you decide to release the record in three parts? In what way did the pandemic affect the piecing together of the record?
Chase Rice: “I wanted to give each song its own moment for people to really connect with it. The way music is now with playlisting and streaming, you don’t sit down and listen to a project all the way through like we used to when we put a new CD in the truck and listened to it on repeat. With The Album coming in parts, we gave people less music at a time so that every song had its chance to shine.”
“Originally, I thought it was going to be four parts. That changed as we went through this past year and it ended up being three, but I think that’s perfect. Every song on The Album fits while still bringing something different to the project, so I’m really happy with how it turned out.”
This album seems to take on a more sensitive sound and feel, that may not be as apparent in your previous releases. Was there a time in your life whether personal or career-wise, that prompted the evolution of these songs?
CR: “This is the first time in eight years that I’ve spent all year at home living life. I made new friends, got closer with old friends, and spent a lot of time having deep conversations with them, just enjoying and reflecting on life. I spent a lot more time with God and with my journal every day, too. This is definitely the most vulnerable music I’ve released in my career, and my next album is going to go even further in that direction.”
You have three brand-new songs, in addition to chart climber “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” featuring Florida Georgia Line, on the final part of this record, tell us the stories behind these songs. What makes them the perfect tracks to round out the album?
CR: “They were all songs that didn’t necessarily have a place of their own, whether they were older or written during the middle of COVID, so we took all these different songs from different places and they were the perfect way to end The Album and kind of close this chapter of the past year.”
‘“The Nights” is the first new song and I always knew I wanted that one to be on the last part of the record, whatever that ended up being. I wrote it two years ago about a real, dark time I was going through, and I didn’t want to put it out in the heat of the moment. I wanted to let that fade away and get through it, then kind of celebrate not only how that period of my life ended, but mostly celebrate how my life is going to be moving forward.”
‘“Bedroom” is actually the first (and one of the only) songs that I wrote in quarantine last year, over Zoom. Writing that way wasn’t for me but we did get this great song out of it, which in my mind takes me back to being on tour. When you’re away from your woman and out there putting the work in but you’re still missing her, you know it’s gonna be a fun time when you finally get home… in a classy way, of course.”
‘“If I Didn’t Have You” was written out at a hunting camp in Oklahoma and it changed how I wanted to approach songwriting moving forward. We were outside with just the stars and the porch light on, and we wrote a song about a man being a better version of himself because of the woman that’s in his life. I’m planning to write that way more in the future rather than scheduling writing appointments, where instead we’ll go somewhere for a few days to hang out, enjoy life, go fishing, and hopefully get inspired with some great songs.”
What have you learned throughout your musical career about songwriting and the art of what goes into making a great song? Which tracks on the album are your personal favourite and why?
CR: “I’ve stopped chasing anything, stopped trying to be anything but me. There are so many artists doing amazing things, but they’re the only ones who can tell each of their stories. I’m the only one who can tell mine, so I just want to keep leaning into that and do the best job I can at telling the real story of my life through my music.”
“There are so many songs that stood out to me during this process, especially because I got to fall in love with a small group of them at a time with each release, the same way I hope the fans did. “American Nights” was fun for me because musically it’s something I’ve never done before. “Lonely If You Are” has been certified Platinum even though we’ve barely played it live, which is amazing. “Forever To Go” is this underground hit that people don’t really know about, but fans are loving. “Belong,” to me, was the perfect message for the past year and all of its uncertainty. And of course, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” reunited me musically with FGL ten years later. So from start to finish, this has been a really special project during a really unique time.”
What message do you hope fans and new listeners alike can walk away with from this project?
CR: “I hope they hear the honestly in the music and can tell that this is really who I am, that I’ve finally found that place musically. And that even though it was a tough year that derailed a lot of plans, we made it.”
How are you feeling about being able to get back out on the road doing an NBA arena tour with Kane Brown in the new year? What aspect of performing in front of a live audience do you miss most?
CR: “I can’t wait. We haven’t gotten to tour with the songs on this project yet, so we have a ton of new music and I know the fans have been as eager to get back to it as we have. It’s gonna be rowdy.”