Chase Rice's surprise Friday (Jan. 24) release, The Album Part I, may sound a little like the "Eyes on You" singer's prior work, but it comes from a more contemplative, vulnerable place. The artist's new seven-song collection serves as a timestamp of his career as it enters a new decade.

“I chose to call this The Album because it’s the first thing I would encourage someone to listen to if they want to know who I am as an artist,” Rice tells Taste of Country. “My career has been such a rollercoaster journey, but it’s all led to this moment and these songs.

"So much of what I’ve learned, so much of what I’ve fought through -- it’s all reflected in this music," he adds.

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Themes within the songs on The Album Part I range from an exploration of toxic relationships titled "Messy" to a more positive take on love titled "Forever to Go." It's not just a redneck Romeo's lament, though, as Rice is using his surprise album as a chance to share his own struggles with mental health.

"I lost my dad at 22 and never dealt with it," Rice shares with ToC. "When you’re 22 and lose your dad and don’t deal with it, there’s only one thing coming your way, and that’s disaster. And that happened for me ... And I still got stuff I deal with through that, which is fine. I’m going to be dealing with stuff my entire life.

"I went and got help. I did therapy, did some [emotional] rehab and intensive stuff, and it’s stuff I don’t normally talk about, but I don’t have a problem talking about it anymore. If you’re not working on yourself you’re probably going backwards, and I was not working on myself," he continues. "So I dealt with the death of my dad. I went and dealt with some other personal issues that I got, and I’m going to continue to deal with that, to fight the rest of my life. But at least I’m fighting now."

Chase Rice, The Album Part I Track List:

1. “American Nights” (Kevin Griffin, Martin Johnson; produced by Martin Johnson)
2. “Lonely If You Are” (Chase Rice, Lindsay Rimes, Hunter Phelps; produced by Chris DeStefano and Chase Rice)
3. “Everywhere” (Chase Rice, Zachary Kale, James McNair; produced by Zachary Kale)
4. “Best Night Ever” (Chase Rice, Chris DeStefano, Matt Jenkins; produced by Chris DeStefano)
5. “Messy” (Seth Ennis, Kylie Sackley; produced by Chris DeStefano)
6. “In the Car” (Chase Rice, Jesse Rice, Hunter Phelps, Mark Holman; produced by Chris DeStefano)
7. “Forever to Go” (Jordan Minton, Casey Brown, Geoffrey Warburton; produced by Casey Brown)

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