Multi-Platinum Artist Nelly Dabs Into Country Music with Cross-Over Album “Heartland” (Review)
The multi-platinum recording artist Nelly released his latest album, Heartland, on Friday, August 27. Florida Georgia Line’s crossover hit “Lil Bit” launched this album to great success. This Texas native created the project as a way to express the country influences he grew up listening to, as well as the country he enjoys now.
With the new song, Nelly is taking the genre-bending to the next level. Nelly first revolutionized genre-bending in 2004 with “Over and Over” and then took Florida Georgia Line’s smash hit “Cruise” to new levels in 2013. Every song on Heartland is a collaboration between Nelly and a country artist. As well established artists such as Darius Rucker and Kane Brown, Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler and Brian, and rising stars such as Chris Bandi, Jimmie Allen, George Birge, Breland, and others are also featured.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Nelly performed the new single “High Horse” with Blanco Brown and Breland. Adding a rap verse to the song, Nelly infuses funk, pop, and country into the up-tempo track. No matter how it is played on the radio or live, the song will get stuck in your head.
Several tracks on the album have a mid-tempo feel, which enhances its cohesiveness. It has an almost gospel-like sound to “Follow Me” feat. Chris Bandi. Nelly adds dimension to “Someone Somewhere” with George Birge, which is also an instrumental song. Both singers Nelly and Birge are suited well to the acoustic vibe.
A Nelly album is not complete without party songs, and “Good Times Roll” feat. Allen delivers just that. Hesings in a distinctively country style that sounds surprising yet works in his favor. While staying true to himself on Heartland, Nelly also went outside of his comfort zone by experimenting with new territory.