On one side, he’s had some solid radio success, with one of the most popular truck anthems of all time (one that doesn’t actually suck), three other Top 5 singles (“Beer Money”, “Hey Pretty Girl” and “More Girls Like You.” Also worth mentioning that “Last Shot” made it to 6), a 2014 CMA New Artist of the Award and name recognition on the top tier of the genre. Not to mention, he has built a loyal fan base that can sell out just just about any stage in town.
On the flip side, Kip is a true artist, not afraid to expose his vulnerabilities in revealing, self-reflective songs. And his fan base rewards that by being as hardcore as they come, knowing the words to every song, screaming for deep-cut fan favorites at every live show, and recognizing him for the true artist he is rather than just knowing a few songs from the radio.
It’s can be a tough place to be (a better place to be in the long run), but Kip does it well. He stays true to who he is and continues to put out music that we writes and believes in… a complete body of work, whether radio plays it or not. Every song from every one of his albums means something to him and he truly puts his all into it, whether in the studio or on stage. That’s what makes him different… whether it goes to radio or not, every single song he records is just as good as the next one. No fluff, no filler, there’s not a weak link anywhere to be found.
The loyal Kip fans already know, but for the average country music fan, let’s go through some of his best album cuts.
Up All Night (2012)
Kip’s first album came out with a bang. Three of his top five singles were on this record, but he also set a strong precedent that it’s not just the radio hits that matter and gave a full display of who he is as a person and artist. “Faith When I Fall” shows his driving beat, rock side, “Crazy One More Time” shows the nostalgic lover and “Reckless” shows, well, his reckless side.
“Faith When I Fall”
“Crazy One More Time”
Wild Ones (2015)
For a sophomore project, Kip delivered my favorite album, embracing his and his fan’s wild sides and unapologetically dug into the rock sound he started on Up All Night. This one is meant to be played loud and sung louder. “Backseat” is the ultimate fan-favorite, they scream every word at every show, “That Was Us” a semi-true story of Kip and his buddies growing up, “Lipstick” a coast-to-coast name-dropping power ballad and “Come And Get It” pumps out the high energy he’s known for.
“That Was Us”
“Come And Get It”
Slowheart was a bit of a stylistic change up for Kip, but still turned out so many classics. “Guitar Man” is one of the best songs ever written, “Fast Women” let’s you in on his thoughts about the crazy life he lives, “Plead The Fifth” is deep-cut favorite that made the acoustic record and “Blonde” is Kip’s take on an increasingly Instagram centered world, where style and beauty seem to be favored over talent and substance.
“Plead The Fifth”
Wild World (2020)
While we haven’t been able to see how crowds react to Kip’s latest album for obvious reasons, and with the album being fairly new we still don’t know which songs will go on to become singles, the sentiment online has been what we’ve come to expect: Large support for the single he has released (“She’s Mine”) and deep love by his fans for the rest. He gave us beautiful introspective pieces in “Payin’ Hard” and “Fire and Flame,” brought the energy in “South” and gave us a classic Kip country/rock mix in “Sweet Virginia.”
I can’t wait to be a few concert beers in, surrounded by people in a lawn, singing my voice away to this album.
“Fire and Flame” (I could see this one being a single by the way)
And for fun, the “Payin’ Hard In The Wild Sessions Version