Morgan Wallen looks determined to release his sophomore and junior album all at once. The much-talked-about young country star announced plans Thursday morning to issue a 30-song set, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” on Jan. 8.
For anyone thinking 30 is not enough, Wallen will also be issuing a Target-exclusive edition of the two-CD set that will include a couple of bonus tracks, bringing the total up to 32.
News of the follow-up to his hit debut “If I Know Me” comes on the heels of Wallen winning the best new artist award Wednesday night at the CMA Awards. The telecast had him performing his current hit, “More Than My Hometown,” a song that clocks in as No. 15 in the running order of the forthcoming 30-song album.
Notably, the Joey Moi-produced set includes a cover version of Jason Isbell’s signature song “Cover Me Up,” which Wallen has recently been performing in concert, and a duet with Chris Stapleton, “Only Thing That’s Gone.” Wallen co-wrote 16 of the 30 songs, which includes writing contributions from some of Nashville’s top writers, including Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally, Michael Hardy and Josh Osborne. The closing track, “Quittin’ Time,” is an Eric Church co-write.
Just in case anyone should think Wallen has designs on going pop, among the song titles are “Rednecks, Red Letters, Red Dirt,” “Somethin’ Country,” “Whatcha Think Of Country Now” and “Country A$$ Shit.”
“Dangerous: The Double Album” looks certain to make a big impact in the marketplace as it arrives on the first real Friday release date of 2021 (assuming few or no new albums will be coming out on Friday the 1st, a holiday). On the strength of just one previous album, Wallen has become one of country’s top young stars, rivaled only by Luke Combs. “If I Know Me,” which has been out for 107 weeks, still ranks among the top 30 current albums and has enjoyed massive streaming numbers uncommon among country artists.
Outside the world of country fans, Wallen may still be known as the guy who got bumped from “Saturday Night Live” over his disregard for social distancing protocols, although the very fact that he was booked at all for the show’s season opener was a testament to his popularity that surprised many.
Wallen made the news — and may have certified his red-state cred — earlier this week when he made controversial statements on Instagram while posting photos of the crowds celebrating President-elect Joe Biden’s win. “The hypocrisy is unreal,” Wallen wrote, adding, “Time to start booking shows.” Wallen was not asked about the statements at a brief virtual press conference during Wednesday night’s CMAs.
He did come up for gentle ribbing during the CMAs telecast. “For your safety, I’ve had Morgan Wallen quarantined in my dressing room for two weeks now,” Darius Rucker said during the opening comedic monologue. “I don’t think you’re getting your deposit back on that dressing room,” retorted cohost Reba McEntire.
In the press conference, Wallen called his best new artist award “a kick in the rear toward the top… I’ve had a lot of really good things happen this year, and a lot of things I wouldn’t consider good, but I’d put this at the top of the good list for sure.” Noting that the award was “my first recognition from any association,” Wallen said, “I guess this is my official not feeling new anymore.”
The “Dangerous” track list:
1. “Sand In My Boots” (Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Josh Osborne)
2. “Wasted On You” (Morgan Wallen, Ernest Keith Smith, Josh Thompson, Ryan Vojtesak)
3. “Somebody’s Problem” (Morgan Wallen, Rodney Clawson, Jacob Durrett, Ernest Keith Smith)
4. “More Surprised Than Me” (Ben Burgess, Lee Thomas Miller, Niko Moon)
5. “865” (John Byron, Blake Pendergrass)
6. “Warning” (Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
7. “Neon Eyes” (Morgan Wallen, Ben Burgess, Mark Holman)
8. “Outlaw” feat. Ben Burgess (Ben Burgess, Patrick Davis, Josh Kerr, Jordan Reynolds)
9. “Whiskey’d My Way” (Matt Dragstrem, Josh Miller, Thomas Rhett, Josh Thompson)
10. “Wonderin’ Bout The Wind” (Morgan Wallen, Ernest Keith Smith)
11. “Your Bartender” (Rhett Akins, Matt Dragstrem, Thomas Rhett, Josh Thompson)
12. “Only Thing That’s Gone” feat. Chris Stapleton (Morgan Wallen, Matt Dragstrem, Chase McGill, Josh Thompson)
13. “Cover Me Up” (Jason Isbell)
14. “7 Summers” (Morgan Wallen, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)
15. “More Than My Hometown” (Morgan Wallen, Michael Hardy, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
1. “Still Goin Down” (Morgan Wallen, Michael Hardy, Ryan Vojtesak)
2. “Rednecks, Red Letters, Red Dirt” (Matt Dragstrem, Chase McGill, Josh Thompson)
3. “Dangerous” (Morgan Wallen, Ernest Keith Smith)
4. “Beer Don’t” (Morgan Wallen, Michael Hardy, Jake Mitchell)
5. “Blame It On Me” (Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
6. “Somethin’ Country” (Morgan Wallen, Michael Hardy, Daniel Ross, Ernest Keith Smith)
7. “This Bar” (Morgan Wallen, Michael Hardy, Jackson Morgan, Jake Scott, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
8. “Country A$$ Shit” (Morgan Wallen, Chase McGill, Jordan Schmidt)
9. “Whatcha Think Of Country Now” (Dallas Davidson, Devin Dawson, Kyle Fishman, Mark Holman, Justin Wilson)
10. “Me On Whiskey” (Rodney Clawson, Mark Holman, Ernest Keith Smith)
11. “Need A Boat” (Morgan Wallen, Matt Dragstrem, Hillary Lindsey)
12. “Silverado For Sale” (Dallas Davidon, Marv Green, Ben Hayslip)
13. “Heartless” (Wallen Album Mix) (Morgan Wallen, Henry Agincourt Allen, Ryan Hurd, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
14. “Livin’ The Dream” (Morgan Wallen, Ben Burgess, Jacob Durrett, Michael Hardy)
15. “Quittin’ Time” (Eric Church, Luke Laird, Josh Thompson)
Target edition bonus tracks:
1. “This Side Of A Dust Cloud” (Morgan Wallen, Matt Dragstrem, Chase McGill, Josh Thompson)
2. “Bandaid On A Bullet Hole” (Morgan Wallen, Jacob Durrett, Ashley Gorley)
More from Variety
Best of Variety