Chris Janson’s ‘All I Need Is You’ Is a Grown-Up Love Story [Listen]
If you listen to the lyrics of Chris Janson's new single, "All I Need Is You," the words might remind you of something familiar.
In the first verse alone, he sings about all the things he wants in life — "A Tracker boat on a big blue lake," "A brand-new truck in my driveway," "A Lotto ticket worth a million bucks" — that's right, it sounds a whole lot like the lyrics of his 2015 breakout single "Buy Me a Boat," in which he's speaking from the perspective of a blue-collar guy salivating over everything disposal income could buy him, like "A boat," "A truck to pull it" and "A Yeti 110 iced down with some silver bullets."
But this isn't history repeating itself.
Since he dropped "Buy Me a Boat," Janson has racked up several hit songs, checked off some bucket-list tours and accolades — including Grand Ole Opry membership — and, most recently, wiped his slate clean with a new record label and a new agency. Eight eventful years down the road from his "Buy Me a Boat" days, Janson still wants all the fancy toys and vehicles that make a country lifestyle more fun, but he's learned to separate the difference between what he wants and what he needs.
"When that sun goes down at the end of the day / There's just one thing I can't lose," Janson concludes in the chorus of "All I Need Is You." "If you're by my side I'm better than alright / Baby, all I need is you."
"All I Need Is You" marks a personal evolution, but more importantly, it's the evolution of a love story: His real-life relationship with his wife Kelly, whom he married in 2010. Speaking to Taste of Country, Janson explains that these days, he's not at all confused about where his priorities lay.
"I look at my life, and I go, 'Man, I don't really need all that much,'" he reflects. "Some air in my lungs. I need Kelly, I need my kids. That's pretty much where I find my happiness and joy ... The bigger buck, the Tracker boat, all that kind of stuff — that's our lifestyle. But yeah, you just separate your wants from your needs, and at the end of the day, all I need is her."
Love songs — and specifically, love songs written about Kelly — are nothing new for Janson. In 2019, he put out "Done," pointing to the song as the story of how he and his wife met and fell in love. He continued that story with 2022's "All In," focusing on the experience of being committed, and choosing to stay committed every day, to the person he loves.
So, does that make "All I Need Is You" part three in the series of his love story?
"I reckon so. I never even thought about it that way," the singer muses. "That's a great analogy."
Specifically, he says, the new song's lyrics speak to the comfort and familiarity of being in a relationship that's stood the test of time, and knowing with confidence that the person he's in a relationship isn't just his love interest — she's also his best friend.
"'All I Need Is You' is, for me, an easy thing to say," he notes. "At the end of the day, she is the one person I wanna hang out with when all the bulls--t subsides. For real.
"It's pretty cool — I've just stayed on the same narrative," Janson continues. "Continued that story. Hell, maybe there'll be more story, more songs. Who knows."
"All I Need Is You" is the lead single off of a forthcoming album that Janson says will blend the rafter-raising country rock of '80s-era Hank Williams Jr., with a hefty dose of reflective sincerity added in.
"There's something for everyone on this album, which I've always tried to make, because who wants to make a record for just one type of people, when you can get all kinds of people?" Janson says. "Everything from the recording process to writing songs to picking songs, all just came so smoothly, and felt amazing, and sounds amazing, in my opinion. It just feels a step up. It's definitely a step up from anything I've done in the past."
Janson's next record will be his first album since signing to Big Machine Label Group, after parting ways with his label since 2015, Warner Music Nashville.