Morgan Wallen tops the country music charts, heads to South Florida on tour

Tennessee is home to some of country music’s biggest stars, and Morgan Wallen is no exception. The artist’s third studio album “One Thing At A Time” hit stores and digital music platforms on March 3. And he’ll arrive in South Florida at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre on May 5.

A collection of 36 fervent, reminiscent and feel-good songs makeup Wallen’s latest release. The artist’s vocal range and raspy voice guides listeners through the album. Wallen’s discography and fanbase have continued to grow after he first appeared on “The Voice” in 2014. 

At 20 years old, Wallen auditioned and performed multiple pop songs while on the show. He was eliminated during “The Playoffs” after singing his first and last country song,  “Stay” by Florida Georgia Line. 

In 2015, the artist came out with his EP “Stand Alone,” which included the popular song “Spin You Around.” In the following years, he released hit singles such as “Whiskey Glasses,”, which currently has more than 500 million streams on Spotify, and “Up Down” featuring Florida Georgia Line. 

This collaboration with Florida Georgia Line released in 2017, went on to become Wallens first song in the Billboard Hot 100 as well as the opening track for his first studio album, “If I Know Me” in 2018. It seemed like what had led to the artist’s elimination in “The Voice” was only the beginning of his success.

He continued releasing singles and in 2021 gave fans the long anticipated second studio album “Dangerous: The Double Album.” The record was a collection of 30 songs and the bonus version of the album had 33 songs. 

As Wallen’s music flourished, his distinct sound reached new audiences through different broadcasts and streaming services. With each on-going release, the artist is seen fine tuning his musical style. 

“I’ve known of Wallens’ music for maybe a few years listening to it through the radio and such,” said Sydney Vargas, a fan since 2020. “I think his music is pretty different from other country singers, especially now, which is probably why he got more popular.”

Numbers reflect the success of the new album. Reportedly, “One Thing At A Time” became the most-streamed country album in a single day by a male artist on Spotify with more than 50 million streams on the music streaming platform.  His latest body of work continues to break records as streams multiply. One week after its release, it has become the most-streamed country album ever with more than 490 million streams.

“This record is as personal and honest as I know how to be, and represents my journey over the past two years,” Wallen said in a press release announcing the album last month. “I loved being back in the studio making new music and I’m super excited to see what my fans think because this is for you guys.”

On Jan. 30, Wallen announced on his social media platforms his third studio album would be released on March 3. He also released three songs from the album at midnight to celebrate this announcement: “Last Night” “Everything I love” and “I Wrote The Book.”

“Wallens music is definitely a lot more somber than other country songs I’ve listened to,” said Miguel Gomez, a new Wallen listener from Miami. “The album’s tracks kind of take you through this journey of looking back on memories while thinking about the future. Like the song ‘Sunrise’, for example, it gives me a sense of nostalgia and makes me think about some of my past relationships.”

Wallen’s musical sound has evolved throughout his career. It is evident that his musical style is influenced by different genres. The artist has collaborated with DJ’s and rappers such as Diplo and Lil Durk. These collaborations have allowed fans to see Wallen experimenting with different sounds as he continues to develop as an artist.

“His music has gone from the stereotypical “country” style, to a now more pop-like sound with a slight bit of country vibe to it,” said Vargas. 

“One Thing At A Time” tracks range from country to alternative country to hip-hop. One thing remains consistent from the album’s first track to its last: Wallen’s ability to carry emotions through his voice and tell stories from beginning to end. 

Track 11 “Hope That’s True” begins with a tropical music bed. It is definitely a different sound than most country artists use, but Wallen’s deep voice perfectly compliments the notes along with his merciless words as he opens the song with the lyrics “I hate that S- Class Benz that you’re so damn proud of.”  

The track centers on a failed relationship between two people who weren’t meant to be. The notion of remicing and realization are seamlessly interlaced with one another as. The end of the chorus says  “But when you say that I ain’t ever gonna find nobody just like you/I hope that’s true”.

The songs “180 (Lifestyle)” and “Sunrise” sonically stand out in the album with their strong hip-hop sound and quick tempo. Although he has stemmed from the sound of traditional country music, the record-breaking artist seems to always keep his Tennessee roots present as he releases new music, and this album included nods to his home state with songs such as “Tennessee Numbers” and “Tennessee Fan”. 

“Good Girl Gone Missin’ ” begins with the sound of plucking guitar strings creating a sense of simplicity and a clear headspace. It transports listeners to an isolated place. Somewhere that is inhabited only by the singer and his utmost personal thoughts. 

The track encapsulates an introspective moment as the lyrics steer listeners through the story of a failed relationship. The scene is set as words begin to flow in response to the guitar strings “Bar lights, bar stool/Too many, one fool/Long neck, long hair/Last call, we the first ones outta there/Coulda been the right one but it went wrong, wrong, wrong/And I bet I know just what to blame it on”. The story begins to unfold as the singer lays out his emotions bare.

Now, the singer is taking the record-breaking album on the road and fans are anticipating upcoming shows. In December 2022, Wallen announced his world tour “One Night At A Time” in an Instagram post. Part of the caption hinted at his album as he shared with fans “2023 is gonna be a special year…I got in store for y’all and thought we’d start with this.”

The tour has 64 shows and kicked off on March 15 in New Zealand. He will be making his rounds in Florida this upcoming May with three tour dates in the Sunshine State. Floridians down South are looking forward to experiencing the album live as the days grow closer for his only show in South Florida in the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Fans are merely months away from singing their favorite country songs at the top of their lungs in the open-air venue.

Janetssy Lugo is a student at Florida International University majoring in digital journalism. She loves reading, baking and listening to Bad Bunny. Working at a radio station is one of her goals as well as traveling the world.