Trace Adkins dilutes his demons with "Watered Down," the newest release from the singer's upcoming album Something's Going On. Like "Jesus and Jones," which kicked off the album's promo cycle early last year, "Watered Down" paints the picture of a hell-raiser who, after coming to terms with his middle age, learns to enjoy the high life at a slightly lower altitude. "We still fly like gypsies, just a little closer to the ground," he sings in the chorus, mixing twang and tolerance in equal doses.
It's the use of "we" – a trick employed by songwriters Matt Jenkins, Trevor Rosen and Shane McAnally – that transforms "Watered Down" from a solitary man's lament into a universal anthem for all baby boomers. A country titan since the Nineties, Adkins is now in his mid-fifties, sharing shows and battling for chart placements with singers half his age. He isn't hanging up his cowboy hat just yet, but he is slowing down his pace. He's going for longevity, in other words.
In the song's lyric video, Adkins spends a quiet afternoon on his Tennessee farm. He coils rope, sharpens tools and gasses up the tractor, moving beneath a grey-blue sky in slow motion. It's a far cry from the butt-shaking dance routines and boozy party scenes that filled "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," perhaps, but that's the point. Trace Adkins isn't growing soft; he's growing older.
Something's Going On, which was produced by Mickey Jack Cones, arrives March 31st.
Something's Going On track listing:
1. "Ain't Just The Whiskey Talkin'" (Terry McBride, Brett Beavers)
2. "Jesus And Jones" (Tyler Farr, Jim McCormick, Casey Beathard)
3. "Watered Down" (Matt Jenkins, Trevor Rosen, Shane McAnally)
4. "Something's Going On" (Chris Cavanaugh, Mark Stephen Jones)
5. "If Only You Were Lonely" (Jon Coleman, Troy Johnson)
6. "Gonna Make You Miss Me" (Tommy Lee James, Matt Nolan, Andrew Dorff)
7. "I'm Gone" (Craig Campbell, Max T. Barnes)
8. "Country Boy Problems" (Tommy Lee James, Josh Osborne)
9. "Lit" (Mickey Jack Cones, Monty Criswell, Derek George)
10. "Still A Soldier" (Phil O'Donnell, Wade Kirby)
11. "Whippoorwills And Freight Trains" (Phil O'Donnell, Jeff Middleton, Brandon Kinney)
12. "Hang" (Lynn Hutton, Phil O'Donnell)