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The duo dropped their new album on Oct. 14 and have been out on the road promoting it, including a recent gig at Red Rocks, for which they were shadowed by a writer for the venerable music magazine. The resulting article captures two young men celebrating their success — and making no apologies to their critics.
Florida Georgia Line shot to what amounts to overnight superstardom with the release of their first full-length album, "Here’s to the Good Times," and its record-breaking hit single "Cruise."
But despite their massive success, it’s not all accolades for the pair; they have been at the center of a critical backlash over so-called “bro-country,” a style of country music that’s dominated commercial country for the past few years, combining elements of country, rock and even rap, with lyrics that emphasize trucks, hot girls, tailgates and plenty of booze.
Detractors claim those songs are formulaic and question FGL’s connection to the roots of country music — a question they feel misses the point.
“It’s a generational thing,” says Hubbard. “In our generation, you can have a CD with six different genres of music on it. For us, it’s all one thing, and if we have shocked people with our music, it’s probably the older generation. Anybody that makes a mark or sets a new standard has a hard time at first, because people don't understand it.”
“The definition of traditional changes every 10 years,” Kelley adds. “The Bakersfield Sound raised a lot of hell at first. Is Garth Brooks traditional? He wasn’t [at first].”
The pair actually met through worship services in college and shared an interest in Christian rock, but their lyrics portray a lifestyle the church would probably not approve of, with references to liquor, beer and sex in many of their songs. In fact, the duo’s new song "Sun Daze" even include the lyrics: “All I wanna do today is wear my favorite shades and get stoned … And all I wanna do is lace my J’s and lace some Jack in my Coke.”
“I was waiting for a ‘Sun Daze’ question,” Kelley said after the writer noted a pipe on the counter in Hubbard’s bus that smelled like marijuana. Asked outright if they smoked, Hubbard didn’t hesitate.
“Yeah. Oh, yes,” he replied, as Kelley laughed and a publicist tried to intervene. “We’re professional partiers.”
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