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‘Hixtape Vol. 2’ was released on Dec. 10, 2021. (Photo provided via @hixtapemusic on Instagram)

Album Review: 'Hixtape Vol. 2' was worth the wait

Hixtape Vol. 2 has finally dropped in its entirety. 

HARDY shared the full tracklist for his second Hixtape on Oct. 16. The full slate featured “backroad bangers and party-friendly anthems” sung by the likes of Brantley Gilbert, Ronnie Dunn and frequent HARDY collaborator Morgan Wallen. HARDY himself also features on several tracks.

Right off the bat, there are several things that make this Hixtape different than Hixtape Vol. 1. Unlike its predecessor, Vol. 2 was released on a week-by-week basis over the span of four months. Also, HARDY is not on every track as he was in Vol. 1. He opened the doors for more “good ol country boys and girls” to join the Hixtape family. 

Hixtape Vol. 2 features an array of tracks. From classic country guitars to modern rock-like drum beats, there’s something for every country fan on this Hixtape. There may not be a titular track, but that is the point of the Hixtape: It’s a mixtape of all things country music. 

The Hixgang honors Hank Williams Sr. and Hank Williams Jr. in the track “To Hank.” It’s a love letter to two of the greatest country artists of all time. The figurative language effortlessly rolls off HARDY, Colt Ford and Gilbert’s lips to a meaningful guitar. Any country fan will be able to understand the memories these men have made to either Hank because they have themselves. 

Fans get their fix of songs to play when they want to tell someone to “shove it” on Vol. 2. “In Love With My Problems” has a beat that would make anyone tap their steering wheel while plotting revenge. However, the Hixtape's angst shines in “Break Your Own Damn Heart,” sung by Midland and Marty Stuart. It’s a track that riles listeners up to get over that playboy/girl that broke their heart.

The Hixtape ventures back to its deep country roots with “Jonesin’.” Named after the great George Jones, the track features Jake Owen, Jake Worthington and Dunn. It walks the listener through a night of letting loose to jukebox tunes of the greats. The vocal progression is modeled after Jones’ in “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair,” along with the picking in the background. 

Those hoping for a collaboration between HARDY and Morgan Wallen will be pleased by the last track on the album, “Goin’ Nowhere.” The two, who duetted on the original Hixtape, used their chemistry to sing about small-town boys doing what they can. It’s certainly going to be a favorite among the good ‘ole boys, much like their previous duet, “He Went To Jared.”

Hixtape Vol. 2 has the quintessential songs about beer, heartbreak and dirt roads. But despite the track titles seeming cookie-cutter, there is a deep love put into each song on this album. It tells the stories of dedicated people who love each other and where they are from. Hixtape brings together artists that fans wouldn’t normally see on the same track.

It’s raw and real — just the way a mixtape should be.

Rating: 5/5

@ashleybeachy_

ab026319@ohio.edu 

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