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Logan Mize’s Still That Kid – Hometowns, Life Lessons & Wait Until You Hear This COVER

REVIEW : Still That Kid by Logan Mize (Big Yellow Dog Music/January 27, 2021

Photo courtesy of Lime Tree Music UK

It’s been a few years since Kansas native Logan Mize released a new album.  2017’s Come Back Road turned out to be so successful it took some time for Mize to do all the touring necessary to support it, and tour he did!  Festivals and sold-out headlining dates all the way through 2019 had him making multiple trips to the UK, Germany and the Netherlands to keep his fans happy.  If you weren’t on board for that particular album and tour, there’s always time to play catch up.  You can add to the 200 million streams that album has already amassed just by starting to spin it now.

Of course, that was then and this is now.  On January 27, 2021, Logan Mize will release his brand new project, Still That Kidand after the last album, it’ll have a lot to live up to.  As if that wasn’t a big enough task, there’s going to be a whole new box of challenges to deal with in how to present it to the masses.  No criss-crossing the country, much less the Atlantic, with such ease these days.  There’s a whole new set of rules when it comes to playing live.  If Come Back Road ended up being a long tour, one can only imagine how long this one might be, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we?  Listening to the record should come first.  That’s just what I’m prepared to do now.  I’ll check back in with my thoughts after I’ve given it a few good turns.

So, I’ve listened to the album several times and I’m ready to weigh in.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say there’s one track on this record that absolutely blew my mind.  In general, most reviewers hold on to their favorite or the song they consider the “big deal” of the album until the end.  Not this time.  I’m bucking the trends.  I’m going for it right now.  As I went about listening to the album, I got to track number 11 and I saw the song title was “Something Just Like This” (Andrew Taggart, Guy Berryman, Christopher Martin, Jonathan Buckland, William Champion) which peaked my interest.  Being a person who listens to other genres of music, I knew there was another song with the same title, a collaboration by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay.  A pop/EDM song.  Could this be a cover of that?  It seemed like an odd choice by a country artist, but you never know. Before I listened I checked the songwriters.  Yes, they matched The Chainsmokers/Coldplay song.  This, indeed, was a cover.  Whatever could this possibly sound like?  If you’re familiar with the original, you might know what I was thinking?  If you’re also familiar with Logan Mize, you definitely know what I was thinking.  It’s just not something I expected to come out “right.”

I gave it a spin.  Let me set the stage for you.  It was about 11 PM and I was lying in bed with my earphones on.  I was in my pajamas under a pile of blankets.  The opening lines were all there.  Logan Mize delivering the recognizable lyrics from the original song in a measured manner.  I was still quite burrowed into my bed and ready for a long winter’s nap.  Then it happened.  The country guy from Kansas and his team of musical heavyweights let loose.  What was this? The song took off like a rocket.  Without even thinking about it, I was up and dancing around my bedroom, earphones still in, giving this bolt out of the blue the extra volume it deserved.  Covers are tough!  Even great singers like Logan Mize could find themselves in a rough spot if they record a cover within their own genre and fans start playing the comparison game, but jumping genres?  I think it all depends on the song and who the original artist was.  If it’s a serious classic and a beloved artist, you’re rolling the dice and the odds are always stacked against you, it doesn’t matter if you stay within your own genre or not.  In any event, in my mind, Mize took a pretty big risk with this one and he beat the house and hit the jackpot.

He not only hit the jackpot, he cleaned up.  “Something Just Like This” was a major hit for The Chainsmokers and Coldplay.  Rightfully so, it’s an amazing song.  The songwriters, members of Coldplay and The Chainsmokers, certainly knocked one out of the park when they created it, unfortunately, it never quite got to the coveted number one position on the charts.  Almost, but not all the way.  The 2017 song debuted at number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and skyrocketed to number five in its second week.  Not bad at all.  In the UK, however, it debuted at number 30 and the following week it sat pretty at number two.  If it weren’t for a guy named Ed Sheeran and a little tune called “Shape of You” it would have made it to the top.  At least the roadblock was a worthy one.  So, the reason I gave you all that information is because I wanted to show you that although it wasn’t a number one, it was a hefty song and it did make a lot of money.  The numbers are great.  Logan Mize took on a dragon and he slayed it.  How much?  One more paragraph and I’ll move on, I promise.

He beat that dragon down.  I don’t expect anyone to agree with me, but I do urge people to listen to this song because in my opinion, Mize took an already great song, and together with the right group of people, masterfully eclipsed that original version with a cover.  It has all the components that make music enjoyable, most notably Mize’s deep, earthy vocals that rise and fall just where they should and the instrumentation is complete perfection.  Special consideration should be given to the high-octane drum parts played by Shannon Forrest.  Never before have I started a review with the standout album track before.  This was a first, but never before has a cover song made such an impression on me.  This is a mind blower.

Video courtesy of Logan Mize and YouTube

Photo courtesy of Lime Tree Music UK

Where to go from there?  There have been a few songs already released digitally.  They are “I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up” (with Willie Jones) (Dallas Davidson, Kyle Fishman, Rhett Akins, Willie Jones), “Grew Apart” (feat. Donovan Woods) (Donovan Woods, Logan Wall, Travis Wood), “Get ‘Em Together” (with Clare Dunn) (Dallas Davidson, Mark Holman, Ben Hayslip, Justin Wilson), “Who Didn’t” (Nicolle Galyon, Ashley Gorley, Jimmy Robbins), “Prettiest Girl in the World” (Logan Mize, Blake Chaffin) and “Hometown” (Tony Lane, Stephen Wilson, Marv Green)  While these are all readily available to listen to right now, I’ll leave most of them for you to discover on your own.  I will say all of them are excellent, but I lean toward “Who Didn’t” if asked to choose a favorite.  It’s a familiar theme, with an extra dash of clever.

Video courtesy of Logan Mize and YouTube

If you want to get my attention with a country song give it just enough of an anthemic flavor and I’m generally a fan.  I can’t say track one didn’t already have me half way in with the title alone.  “American Livin'” (Logan Mize, Blake Chaffin) just sounded like my thing and I must know myself pretty well, because it was.  A funky little intro quickly morphs into that anthem-like quality that’ll suck me in every single time.  This is American country music.  You’ve got Logan “Straight Outta the Heartland” Mize with his rugged vocals, wishing he could get back to small town life.  As a fan of country music, you’d be hard-pressed to dislike this song.

“Time says you can’t go back

Oh, but just like that you know what you’ve been missin’

Friday night small town American livin'”

When it comes to “Gone Goes On and On” (Josh Kear, Robert Counts, Ed Hill, Mark Irwin), I’d hand the first prize for original songs on the album to this one.  Maybe I should have put the word “original” in bold print, because there’s definitely some “originality” going on in here.  Seriously.  Thousands of songs about loss and how it messes up your head.  Only one like this though.  I listened to it a couple times and realized that it’s probably meant to be about a relationship, but you could apply it to any form of loss.  It’s a midtempo tune, but if you let it sit, it has some depth.  The pops of percussion throughout this track give it levity, a brilliant disguise for what I perceive to be a heavy song.  I’ll translate that for you.  I dig this.  A lot.

“Goodbye’ll hit you at the speed of a last kiss

Love’ll walk out while you’re still holding your breath

Sometimes forever’s over fast as a song

But gone goes on and on and on and on

Taillights’ll fade out in the blink of a single tear

It only takes a couple seconds for a comeback prayer

Losing everything don’t take long

But gone goes on and on and on and on”   

“Hometown” (Tony Lane, Stephen Wilson, Marv Green).  It’s also already been released, but I just had to mention it anyway because I noticed a bit of a pattern in Mize’s thinking.  The first line of this song is the best.  If that doesn’t hook you in, forget it.  You might as well move on.  “How’d I end up here where I don’t belong/like a steel guitar in a disco song”  I got a bit of an old west vibe from this one.  A little bit cool, not straight-up Gunsmoke music, but just a hint.  Just enough to make it swagger some.  Then again, it had a sprinkling of something tropical in there too.  Not Ricky Ricardo “Babalu” or anything, but maybe a splash of rum.  A really interesting musical concoction that still has me guessing.  Sort of like telling the bartender to surprise you and then wanting to know everything that’s in  your drink afterward.  That’s where I’m at right now.  I want to know what’s in this song, but the bartenders (aka Logan Mize and friends) are just too talented.  I can’t nail it down this time and they’re not talking.  Anyway, the love of home, small town living, that same theme that we heard in “American Livin'” comes around again in this one.  Not anthemic this time, but there’s that love of simplicity and a yearning for being back home where things are familiar.  It’s clearly a subject that’s on Mize’s mind often.   

Video courtesy of Logan Mize and YouTube

Remember when you were 17?  Maybe you actually are 17.  Or, maybe you haven’t even reached 17 yet, lucky you!  For those of us who are long past that age, think about how much you knew back then!  Weren’t we brilliant? If we had all known each other at 17, collectively, we could have already cured COVID.  Easily.  We’d be packing stadiums and singing our favorite songs while clinking overpriced beer cans together and rejoicing because not only did we eradicate the world of a pandemic, but we were listening to live music without restrictions again!  It’s horrible to get older and lose all of your smarts, isn’t it?  Okay.  Obviously, we knew next to nothing at 17.  That’s where another beacon of brilliance from Still That Kid comes in. 

The song is “Practice Swing” (Randy Montana, Blake Chaffin) and it’s another one where there’s a lot happening, but you have to be paying attention.  The story is relatively simple.  At 17, we think we know it all, but everything we do at that age, those are all just “practice swings.”  We “think” we’re really in love, but we’re just learning.  We’re actually learning what love isn’t at that stage of the game.  We’re rehearsing for the real thing which hopefully comes later.  That’s the general idea of the song and it’s as if Logan Mize wrote this one himself, his delivery is so sincere.  Of course, anyone that’s lived beyond 17 could tell this story and be convincing, but not everyone can sing it like Mize can.  Peppered with baseball analogies, this is a beauty.  An almost ethereal melody seems out of place here, yet that’s precisely why it works.  There is that moment at the bridge where Mize throws the flames on high and shows us what his pipes can do, but then we’re taken right back to that mystical, hypnotic melody.  Forget the cowbell.  Grab the chimes.  Great production work on the vocals, definitely added to the otherworldly feel.  Terrific menagerie of all things musical in a 3:41 song. 

“Friday night football lights

Saturday night keg party dreams

She took a little piece of you when she gave back your class ring

It wasn’t the real thing

Just a practice swing”  

Luke Bryan, he had a really good life lesson song in “Fast” (Luke Bryan, Luke Laird, Rodney Clawson) and Logan Mize now has one with “Slow” (Dallas Davidson, Chris DeStefano, Houston Phillips).  It’s just a laid-back, cool little tune that tells you to slow down and smell those roses.  If you’re familiar with my writing, you’ll also know I’m a huge fan of name drops, and there’s a juicy one right in the first line.  I won’t spoil it for you, but I’ll give you a hint.  It’s not a person, and a lot of people in this town are very familiar with it.  Like they know it better than their own families when we’re not in a global pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Lime Tree Music UK

As for the tracks I didn’t dwell on, please understand, I really like them.  I thought Logan Mize’s last album was outstanding and he topped it.  This was not a lateral move.  He obviously didn’t decide to settle at the level he was at.  He reached up and he grabbed the next rung on the ladder.  His voice has never been better.  His producer, Daniel Agee, deserves an enormous amount of credit.  This record is slick and I just learned that in addition to his production expertise, Agee also played on a majority of the instrumental parts.  Studio musicians are always impressive, but this deserves bonus points.  The instrumentation on this project is perfection.  When heard in earphones you can hear how precise each individual instrument sounds.  It’s a country music work of art.  Not bad from a boy from Clearwater, Kansas.  Not bad at all.

 

Still That Kid Track List

  1. “American Livin'” (Logan Mize, Blake Chaffin)
  2. “I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up” (Dallas Davidson, Kyle Fishman, Rhett Akins)
  3. “Who Didn’t” (Nicolle Galyon, Ashley Gorley, Jimmy Robbins)
  4. “Grew Apart” (feat. Donovan Woods) (Donovan Woods, Travis Wood, Logan Wall)
  5. “Gone Goes On and On” (Josh Kear, Robert Counts, Ed Hill, Mark Irwin)
  6. “Practice Swing” (Randy Montana, Blake Chaffin)
  7. “Hometown” (Tony Lane, Stephen Wilson, Marv Green)
  8. “Get ‘Em Together (with Clare Dunn) (Dallas Davidson, Mark Holman, Ben Hayslip, Justin Wilson)
  9. “Prettiest Girl in the World” (Logan Mize, Blake Chaffin)
  10. “Slow” (Dallas Davidson, Chris DeStefano, Houston Phillips)
  11. “Something Just Like This” (Andrew Taggart, Guy Berryman, Christopher Martin, Jonathan Buckland, William Champion)
  12. “Grew Apart” (feat. Alexandra Kay) (Donovan Woods, Travis Wood, Logan Wall)
  13. “I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up” (with Willie Jones) (Dallas Davidson, Kyle Fishman, Rhett Akins, Willie Jones)

 

Produced by Daniel Agee

Mastered by Ted Jensen (Sterling Sound)

Musician Credits

  1. “American Livin'” Logan Mize – Synthesizer, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  2. “I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up” Shannon Forrest – Drums, Tyler Hall – Pedal Steel, Daniel Agee – Electric Guitar, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  3. “Who Didn’t”  Shannon Forrest – Drums, Tyler Hall – Pedal Steel, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  4. “Grew Apart” (feat. Donovan Woods) Shannon Forrest – Drums, Tyler Hall – Pedal Steel, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Banjo, Piano, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  5. “Gone Goes On and On” Shannon Forrest – Drums, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  6. “Practice Swing” Shannon Forrest – Drums, Robert Wright – Bass, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  7. “Hometown” Shannon Forrest – Drums, Tyler Hall – Pedal Steel, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  8. “Get ‘Em Together” (feat. Clare Dunn) Shannon Forrest – Drums, Daniel Agee – Electric Guitar, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  9. “Prettiest Girl in the World” Shannon Forrest – Drums, Tyler Hall – Pedal Steel, Robert Wright – Cello, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  10. “Slow” Shannon Forrest – Drums, Tyler Hall – Pedal Steel, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Rhodes, Organ, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  11. “Something Just Like This” Shannon Forrest – Drums, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  12. “Grew Apart” (feat. Alexandra Kay) Shannon Forrest – Drums, Tyler Hall – Pedal Steel, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Banjo, Piano, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals
  13. “I Ain’t Gotta Grow Up” (with Willie Jones) Shannon Forrest – Drums, Tyler Hall – Pedal Steel, Daniel Agee – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Programming, Background Vocals

 

Logan Mize can be found:

Website:  https://www.loganmize.com/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/loganmize/?hl=en

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LoganMize

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LoganMize

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/LoganMize

*Featured photo courtesy of Lime Tree Music UK

 

 

 

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Patti McClintic
I'm Patti. Rock music is my first love. Country came later, but once I was in, I was all in. I'm a history geek, so I love learning about classic country and anything attached to it. You might find me strolling the cemeteries of Nashville, having silent conversations with the songwriters and artists that shaped this amazing genre. I'm an amateur genealogist with over 20,000 people on my family tree. I'm a Buffalo, New York girl living in a Nashville, Tennessee world with my husband and my furry kids. My real kid is an adult and lives in New York with her own three daughters. I'm addicted to SongPop and I don't care to enter rehab to fix that. If you ask me about myself, I'll tell you I have an eight-year old mind, a 77-year old soul and a middle-aged body. I'm a mess. :)
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