For thirty-two-year-old Chris Young, the past decade has been a storied one, with a win on the 2006 season of Nashville Star landing him a recording contract and propelling him to the top of the country music charts. In that time Young has evidently gotten used to the life of a recording artist, with his latest offering, Losing Sleep, marking the third record he has released in the past twenty-four months – the first being the chart-topping I’m Comin’ Over, which was followed by It Must Be Christmas – and his seventh record overall.
With Losing Sleep, Young has produced an immaculately polished country-pop-rock album, dispensing the record’s ten tracks neatly over thirty minutes. Despite Young’s pleasing baritone delivery, and a charming hint of drawl, the precision with which Losing Sleep is executed comes at the expense of character, with song after song coming and going without leaving a mark on the listener. The blend of contemporary pop structures with country-rock manages to bring out the worst traits of both styles, with the end result being formulaic in both sound and composition, an outcome that is compounded by Young’s lyrical obsession with being smitten with a random pretty woman or being totally engrossed and enamoured with a paramour.
There is a brief glimpse of potential halfway through the record with Radio and the Rain and Where I Go When I Drink, although neither manages to convert this potential into something truly memorable or catchy. Radio and the Rain conjures a pleasant image with the line “the soundtrack of the radio and the rain”, but squanders this and a nicely minimal intro and verse by resorting to a big chorus, while Where I Go When I Drink flirts with vulnerability by revealing that inebriation leads to thoughts of a failed relationship. Yet, even with the potential of these tracks Losing Sleep offers nothing for the listener who is even faintly acquainted with pop and country music.