Lainey Wilson – Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ (BMG/BBR Music Group)

Living life in the fast Lainey?

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is the Cadillac of new country.

It’s super-charged, sleek and seriously aspirational.

But there’s a reassuring sense of Chevy-like cool at the heart of a retro-fuelled record.

And it’s that heady mix of new and old that’s got Nashville talking right now.

Lainey Wilson puts the pedal to the metal on her major label debut.

And on the same day Carly Pearce releases new collection 29, Louisiana’s finest looks perfectly placed to overtake the opposition.

Park the preconceptions.

Give your music collection a much-needed MOT.

And let Lainey drive you to distraction with this racecar of a record.

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is the sound of Bell Bottom Country

Come again?

It’s a genre all of Lainey Wilson’s own making and a phrase coined to capture her unique fusion of country music’s golden era and its no-rules future.

The Dolly Parton twang underpinning Dirty Looks leans on the former.

But Small Town Girl’s funky take on country reflects Wilson’s ear for commerciality.

Straight Up Sideways is a rockier curveball that captures a diverse performer at her convincing best.

And it’s possible to forgive Wilson the Rolling Stones rip-off of a riff that underpins WWDD such is the heartfelt sentiment underpinning this classy tribute to queen of country Parton.

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is Wilson singing what she wants, how she wants to.

But that’s only part of the story.

Is Lainey Wilson THE next woman of country?

As one of CMT’s Next Women Of Country there’s a lot riding on Wilson.

Seen as the full package by Nashville’s most influential tastemakers, the next big thing might be here already.

And it’s not a moment too soon.

Wilson’s music is a staple of hit US TV series Yellowstone.

She’s been included in MusicRow’s Next Big Thing 2021 list.

And Saturday sees Wilson return to the greatest stage of them all when she revisits the Grand Ole Opry as part of her week-long album launch celebrations.

There’s a whole bunch of hype. But the music matches the buzz.

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is the country music record that veers from fun to fundamental and thoroughly entertaining to refreshingly thought-provoking.

Things A Man Oughta Know and things Lainey does best

It’s no surprise that current single Things A Man Oughta Know has surpassed 35 million streams.

Wilson’s breakout hit is a permanent fixture on Spotify Nashville’s Worldwide Hot 50.

And it’s found the perfect home on the aptly title Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’.

But it’s a measure of this diverse record that Wilson’s earworm of a single is a mere snapshot of her wider talent.

The perfectly positioned Rolling Stone (co-written with Tammi Kidd and Brent Anderson) represents a beautiful example of the singer songwriter’s softer side.

And such is the song’s passionate vibe it wouldn’t sound out of place soundtracking a Stevie Nicks solo album.

The set closer and title track is clearly a case of saving the best until last. 

Wilson nails it as she signs off in triumphant style.

When it comes to Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, we’re just glad she did.

Enjoyed this review? You might like to check out Rushonrock’s Top 10 Country Albums Of 2020