Lee Brice Comes in Strong With “I Don’t Dance”

Lee Brice gains momentum with his new album “I Don’t Dance.”

Despite the title track being overplayed enough to become a chore to sit through, Brice’s latest album is the perfect combination of emotional ballads, drinking songs, and fluffy, feel-good jams to highlight his diversity and push him into stardom.

I Don’t Dance,” the title track and promoting single, was released in February and finally caught radio attention over the summer and has been playing almost daily since.

Despite the touching lyrics, which Brice confirmed were written for his wife in an interview with Fox News, and the masterful musical quality, the single peaked at 33 on the “Billboard Top 100’s” and, overall, failed to capture the variety of which Brice is capable.

However, the album, “I Don’t Dance,” which was released Sept. 9, is a solid example of the payoffs of perseverance.

Riding the wave of success from his 2012 album, “Hard 2 Love,” Brice spent the past two years creating a series of songs that capture his values and strength.

Drinking Class,” an anthem to working class America and one of the prominent tracks on “I Don’t Dance,” is gaining popularity on the radio as a second single. The lyrics paint a pristine picture of the struggle that comes with counting down the seconds of a boring shift.

“Drinking Class,” “No Better Than This” and “Good Man,” which creatively includes a violin introduction and features Brice almost rapping, are fantastic songs to raise a beer to on the weekend.

The addition of these bar ballads helps break up the monotony of too many of the slow, emotional pieces that Brice is famous for, without relying on fluffy, meaningless songs.

However, Brice didn’t completely ignore the importance of catchy, radio fun songs. Good luck finding deeper meaning in the “Girls in Bikinis” chorus, “watching girls in bikinis is like watching a slinky walking down the stairs / Can’t help but stare.”

Overall, Brice has compiled a fantastic collection of what is probably his best work to date. He appeals to a range of audiences and he offers a variety of sounds by experimenting with adding new instruments to certain songs, such as violins and banjos.

Fans of “Give Me Back My Hometown,” by Eric Church, will enjoy “Carolina,” Brice’s ode to the land that he grew up in and his desire to get back there.

Similarly, the lyrics of “Sirens” follow a Bonnie and Clyde type of story that fans of Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” will find entertaining and relatable.

As with any album, not every aspect is entirely perfect. There are a couple songs that become repetitive after a couple minutes of listening, “Panama City” and “Show You Off Tonight,” and each could have been cut down without losing any of their content.

Another unfortunate piece of the album is that the deluxe version of it only comes with three extra songs of mediocre quality. “Whiskey Used To Burn” is the only worthwhile part of the extended edition, but it still falls short of truly impressive.

The standard version of “I Don’t Dance” is remarkable and refreshing. The album shows that Brice has learned how to build on the foundation created by “Hard 2 Love” and proves that Brice has the skill and perseverance to truly make a mark on country music.

four stars picks

4/5