Release Date: Mar 8, 2019
Record label: SME
Two years after the release of her 2016 debut Hero, Maren Morris scored a genuine crossover smash with "The Middle," a collaboration with electro-pop producer Zedd. "The Middle" wasn't a country song, it was a pop move so bold it felt defiant: if country radio wasn't going to make her the star she deserved to be, she planned to head elsewhere. That same sensibility runs through Girl, Morris' ambitious 2019 sophomore album.
If you want a representative sample of pop music in 2018, something to throw in a time capsule so that future explorers scouring Earth's climate-wrecked mess would know exactly how good the radio was on average, you can't do better than Zedd and Maren Morris' "The Middle. " The hit is a slightly snazzier version of Zedd's previous hit, Alessia Cara collaboration "Stay," with the same vocoder chorus and clock ticks. For Morris' part, the writers also auditioned Anne-Marie (the former front-runner, who lost it because of the music jobbing equivalent of a non-compete agreement), two members of Fifth Harmony, Carly Rae Jepsen(!), and more than 12 other singers.