Exclusive: Rodney Atkins Explains Why New Album Took Six Years to Make

Rodney Atkins waited more than six years after his 2011 Take a Back Road album, before he was ready to announce a new project. But Atkins reveals he is finally almost ready to release his fifth studio album, after beginning the work on it in 2014.

"Rose [Falcon] and I had been married for about a year at that point, and I felt completely comfortable," Atkins tells PopCulture.com. "I felt completely ready to just be vulnerable, which is what I've realized that had to happen, kind of bury your soul and put it out there. I think that with 'Watching You,' that's a song that you just kind of put it out there. And when I wrote that, that's all I was trying to be and just tell the story of the song. And we started connecting. Rose and I wrote a song that will be on the record. It's called 'Young Man.' And it's just a labor of love. Once we started writing that song and singing together, something magical happened."

Atkins has also been focused on spending more time with his family, and less time so focused on work.

"I have a 16 year-old, Eli, who is just eaten up with baseball and makes great grades," Atkins boasts of his family, which also includes three-month-old Ryder. "He's the best kid in the world. So we have one in a stroller and one behind the wheel now, which is completely crazy. That's what I do. That's all I do. When I'm with my family, whether it's with Ryder or Eli, I'm all in, I'm right there, and I don't think about music. And then when I'm doing music, that way I can be all in, and I just take my time. Rose says the only thing I've ever done quickly is married her. And that was an easy decision.

Still, music is never far from Atkins' mind, even if he is with his loved ones.

"We sing, we play music all the time," Atkins reveals. "Whether we're on the road or we're home, we sing. "And this has been a journey; I've kind of re-fallen in love with writing songs, and make myself take that to another level, and not try to write songs to have hits, but just great epic."

With so much time between records, Atkins became ready to branch out in his sound and style, as is evident in his debut single from the new set of tunes, "Caught Up in the Country."

"I am just are willing to put it all out there and try something completely different," admits Atkins. 'Caught Up in the Country' sounds drastically different. And everything does. Everything that we've recorded does."

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"Caught Up in the Country," is available for download on iTunes.

Photo Credit: Instagram/RodneyAtkins