Florida Georgia Line - H.O.L.Y. (Single Review)
Release Date: 29 April 2016
Label: Big Machine Label Group, LLC
Time: 3:16 minutes
Available for download on Amazon | UK iTunes
FGL open a new chapter showing a softer side on H.O.L.Y.
The self-appointed bro-country multi award winning duo Florida Georgia Line (Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley) return but this time with something a whole lot more meaningful.
They display a fresh maturity which should reach out to, and be embraced by a wide age demographic given its universal appeal.
In terms of quality this could well be their best effort yet and certainly their most noteworthy since the mid-tempo Billboard #1 ballad "Dirt" dropped on July 8, 2014.
H.O.L.Y. (writers Nate Cyphert, William Larsen and busbee) opens with a gentle acoustic guitar and piano underscored with a soft back beat.
It finds Tyler Hubbard’s role depicting a desperately lonely, thoughtful and reflective mood. As winter sets in clinging onto threads of hope, he sings:
I couldn't find a day I didn't feel alone, I never meant to cry, started losing hope...
As the rain clouds disperse and love is found, a new biblical-like chapter is opened as Brian Kelley joins in on the chorus lines:
You're holy, holy, holy, holy, I'm high on loving you, high on loving you
Although the pair didn't write the worship-like tune they obviously became emotionally attached to the song. They show a deep respect, honour and gratitude towards their wife's who they've desired for so long to marry and to raise their future offspring.
You made the brightest days from the darkest nights
You're the river bank where I was baptized
Cleanse all the demons
That were killing my freedom
Let me lay you down, give me to ya
Get you singing babe, hallelujah
We'll be touching, we'll be touching heaven
The number with its overtly spiritual vibe is thankfully uncluttered production wise. It allows Hubbard’s vocals the space to shine and soar as he digs deep to evoke the necessary emotion and passion without crossing the line for it be considered too syrupy, thus delivering a sweet yet honest sentiment:
You're an angel, tell me you're never leaving, Cos you're the first thing I know I can believe in
Lyrically, Hubbard trades both personal experiences and metaphors on “H.O.L.Y.” like a sweet love letter to his significant other with the words:
I don't need the stars cos you shine for me, Like fire in my veins, you're my ecstasy (You're my ecstasy)
Later in the track a faint organ and steel drift over the background harmony.
As the love song gently fades and with healing hands soothing the hurt FGL are it seems Forever Grateful Lovers!
With summer on the country horizon this will be another welcome addition to what is becoming an already ballad laden Billboard chart! The genre it seems, in this currently crazy world, feels there's a need for positivity, hope and to spread genuine love.
In fact, FGL have another song waiting in the angel’s wings called "Music Is Healing" on their forthcoming third studio album named DIG YOUR ROOTS.
Joey Moi has returned to produce the record, and Tim McGraw is slated to make an appearance on one song.
Brian Kelley & Tyler Hubbard got their start playing guitar and singing in church both separately and together (worship leaders) and return to that vibe on “H.O.L.Y.”
"God's been good to us and on our side and I think this one's going to shine big" said Kelley.
Don't be surprised to see this gently "cruise" to the top of the charts.
Adrian Clark for Country Music News International