Country music is as celebrated by those who can’t get enough of its easygoing beats as it is, most often, geared towards one specific audience in particular, but in singer/songwriter Chris Douglas’ new single “Ain’t Getting Any Younger,” we find someone with a diverse enough palate to win over country, rock and pop music fans alike without having to cheapen his aesthetical integrity. Douglas comes into his debut release guns blazin’ with a melodic drawl that is certain to spellbind anyone within earshot, and against the backdrop of a roots rock-style guitar grind, he hammers out what could be the most provocative hook of the summer thus far.
The guitar parts here command a lot of our attention, but their relationship with the percussion is probably the most evocative component on the instrumental front here. Through the three and a half minutes that the song lasts, they duel for our hearts, firing off one sensational groove after another until they’re almost overpowering Douglas’ singing. The mix keeps everything crisp, clean and nonintrusive, and furthermore makes it easy for us to discern where one element in the mammoth melody starts and another ends, but even if it weren’t afforded such an urbane production quality, I don’t doubt that the harmonies here would be just as enticing.
There’s an urgency to the rhythm of the drums, as well as the bassline, but nothing in this track feels rushed or thrown together. You don’t have to be an expert in pop recording to appreciate the amount of time and labored effort that most likely went into making every intricate detail of the sonic landscape here as intriguing as it is, but for those who take music a bit more seriously than most (myself included), “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” is a lot loftier an offering than your average rookie country release is.
Though it’s produced like a pop song to a certain extent, Chris Douglas’ debut single doesn’t feel like a direct play for the praise of FM radio disc jockeys, or even music journalists like myself for that matter. I get the impression that Douglas has a personal connection with these lyrics and the emotionality that their musical foundation inspires whenever I listen to it; there’s simply too much passion, and frankly, too much relentless moxie present in “Ain’t Getting Any Younger,” for me to think anything different. He’s got an investment in his material that goes beyond the desire for monetary gains; through his music, he shares with us a piece of himself in the most intimate of ways that an artist can.
He’s got some room for growth and maturity in future compositions, but with that said, Chris Douglas’ “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” is a must-listen for country buffs who are hungry for some fresh blood in this transitional period for America’s favorite genre. He’s got an unapologetically rebellious approach to big riffs and even bigger hooks, and taking into consideration that this is only his first single, there’s no debating that he’s got quite a future ahead of him. Douglas is a whole lot of country and a little bit of rock n’ roll, but it should be known that he is one hundred percent what the Nashville scene needs right now.