It's appropriate that Florida Georgia Line took its name from both sides of a boundary, because the duo (Georgia-born Tyler Hubbard, 27, and Florida native Brian Kelley, 29) used its multiformat smash "Cruise," and the party-themed album Here's to the Good Times, to redraw -- and partly erase -- the once-thin lines that separate country from the rest of popular music. The pair wasn't the first to introduce hip-hop elements to the genre -- Jason Aldean did that in "Dirt Road Anthem," and Colt Ford has built a solid touring career with a rap/country hybrid. But FGL took the approach to a new level by enlisting Nelly on a pop remix of "Cruise" and jamming a street flow into its Luke Bryan collaboration, "This Is How We Roll."
With that résumé, Anything Goes is an apt title for a follow-up. But if anything, the duo pulls back a bit on the genre-busting. The album's opening line -- "Alabama on the boom box, baby" -- gives a shout-out to a Country Music Hall of Fame band that similarly tested the limits back in the day, and there are references to country figures Merle Haggard and Shania Twain tucked in alongside mentions of Bob Marley and Mick Jagger. "Dirt," the lead single, puts a classic-country twist on the FGL story, slathering atmospheric steel on a song that views home ownership as a symbol of life's dust-to-dust realities. It's one of those peculiarities of country: Some of its best material condenses decades of experience into three minutes, and "Dirt" does that in a subtly thoughtful way.