Ask Chris Young what he's looking forward to in 2024 and he won't mention a tour, his new Young Love & Saturday Nights album or something from his personal life.

He just wants a long stretch of normal.

"I know that sounds really basic," he tells Taste of Country. "I can laugh about the getting falsely arrested thing all I want, but I feel like 2024 kicked me in the nuts a little bit (laughs)."

His new album — his ninth on RCA Nashville — is without question his most dynamic collection of songs. There are 18 of them, so variety is a fact of life, but fans can expect barroom rockers ("Double Down"), burning bedroom ballads ("Call It a Day") and deeply personal tributes ("Gettin' Older").

"All I’m gonna say is if Keith Whitley can do 'Sad Songs and Waltzes,' I’m not taking it off the table."

"Down" is the last song on Young Love & Saturday Nights, but may be the place to start to understand Young's approach in a single, 3-minute sip.

"It’s the last thing that got added to the record," he says. "My manager was like, 'This has to go on this album. This has to be there.' I was like, 'OK, alright. Geez.'"

Media was asked to stay away from questions about Young's January arrest in Nashville, but he made it known he wanted to talk about it in the weeks after he was cleared of all wrongdoing. One tweet showed the injuries he sustained in the incident, in which he was shoved into tables. Another social media post thanked fans for sticking by him.

On the surface, it seemed like the public knew all there was to know. Talking to ToC, the "Young Love & Saturday Nights" singer spilled that another hilarious chapter is still to come.

attachment-young love and saturday night album cover
RCA Nashville

Taste of Country: Congratulations on the album. Are you excited, nervous? 

Chris Young: I mean, I’m not gonna be any more nervous than being falsely arrested by a TABC agent (laughs).

You brought it up, not me.

I don’t care (laughs).

How do you look back at the incident now? Are you still upset? Embarrassed? Did it change anything for you?

Embarrassment? On my behalf?

I’m not suggesting —

Bro, we've known each other for a long time. You’ve seen those videos. I didn’t do anything ... There’s more video that people haven’t seen, too.

I got a sense of that.

Yep, I didn’t want to put it out there. I wanted somebody else to put it out there instead of me, that way it wasn’t me going, "Hey, let me defend myself."

How do you measure success with each album?

I don’t know that I do. Everybody uses the phrase "moving the goal posts." I don’t know that the bar remains the same anymore with the advent of streaming.

Just being around as long as I have been is not normal (laughs). Especially not as you start at 20 years old. I’m just sitting there going, "Sweet. People still wanna hear my music."

What is the song on this new album that you couldn’t have pulled off 10 or 15 years ago?

Probably the current single, actually. Because "Young Love & Saturday Nights" — 10, 15 years ago they could have immediately jumped to — even though the family sold the catalog and he’s (David Bowie) listed as a songwriter — they could have looked at me like, "Who’s this new guy trying to put out a David Bowie song with different lyrics?" That could have easily been the spin.

What about a song like "Gettin' Older"? Do you think you were mature enough at age 20 to pull that off?

I think I would’ve been OK with pulling that off, only because it’s about my dad. That’s how I feel about him. If I get a chance to be like him when I grow up, I’m not afraid of getting older. I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to.

Do you want kids one day?

Oh, I have no idea. I have a dog right now, that’s enough.

I listen to "Call It a Day" and to a certain extent, "Don’t Stop Now." Have you ever toyed with the idea of doing a conceptual album that relies on that sexy sound that you’re known for?

All I’m gonna say is if Keith Whitley can do Sad Songs and Waltzes, I’m not taking it off the table that at some point I don’t just do bedroom songs, and they’re all sexy songs like "Call It a Day."

Nashville Lifestyles Music In The City Featuring Chris Young
Getty Images

Are those songs easy for you to write?

It depends. Sometimes I can write those every day, and sometimes I write ‘em and am like, "This song is not good enough." I feel like that’s every songwriter’s position.

Do you write from personal experience or things happening around you?

I normally write from personal experience, but not always. I’m never gonna cut off that lane.

Is there an example of both on this album?

Honestly, when you were talking about "Gettin' Older," the reason I got so pissed off that I didn’t write that is I was trying to write a song for my dad, and Dave Finley was writing with me and played me that song and I was like (sighs), "Dude, that’s what I was trying to write this whole time" (laughs).

What did your dad think when he heard that song?

He loved it.

Is he the kind who would shed a few tears?

I mean, my dad has a Dale Earnhardt mustache. He’ll have emotional moments but they’re very rare, and he got a little emotional about hearing that song.

What else are you looking forward to in 2024?

I’m just looking forward to a good year. I know that sounds really basic. I can laugh about the getting falsely arrested thing all I want, but I feel like 2024 kicked me in the nuts a little bit (laughs).

You gotta win back your SEO. I Google your name and it’s all arrest content.

Oh, don’t worry, I’m making a T-shirt. I’ll send you one.

Maybe with your mug shot on it.

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

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