With a moody, almost New Wave atmosphere that’s filled out with synth pads and a smattering of textured, minimalist guitar parts, “Livin’ the Dream” continues the interesting sonic evolution Wallen has made from “Whiskey Glasses” to the present. Written by Wallen with Ben Burgess, Jacob Durrett, and Michael Hardy (who also performs under his surname), the song takes a look at the darker, more chaotic side of fame. “To everybody else/I look like a rockstar/In and out of cop cars,” he sings in the chorus, touching on the debauchery of life in the spotlight.
It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, of course, and that relentless succession of late nights eventually takes a toll. “Sittin’ here sippin’ and bitchin’ about a spot where/People would kill to be/But y’all it ain’t as good as it seems/This livin’ the dream is killin’ me,” Wallen concludes. It’s an intriguing addendum to some of Wallen’s recent news-making antics, including losing a performance spot on Saturday Night Live after videos surfaced of the singer partying unmasked in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Along with “Livin’ the Dream,” Wallen also put out the strummy small-town ode “Still Goin Down,” which reserves its praise for Friday-Saturday gatherings in the country, and “Somebody’s Problem,” a gentle acoustic ballad about falling hard for the “kinda girl once you’ve had her you can’t stand to lose her,” as Wallen sings.
Dangerous, which also includes Wallen’s current single “7 Summers” and “More Than My Hometown,” will be released January 8th.