Chase Rice regains his edge with “Whisper,” the first taste of a new album expected in 2016. It’s a song that stares down anyone critical of his aggressive style of persuasion. Rice is all-in on being country music’s king of seduction. He’s Christian Grey with acoustic guitar and banjo.

Like his first hit, “Ready Set Roll,” and “Ride,” a song with Macy Maloy that received airplay on satellite radio, Rice takes his lyrics a inch or six further than most country men. There’s no clever metaphor or coy wink as he expresses his intentions. He embraces the brow-raising power of lines like, What if I shut ya up with my lips on your lips.” It’s honest and raw. At his best Rice is the antithesis of Dan + Shay.

There is room for what he does on the radio, but even Rice recognizes songs like “Whisper” won’t thrill all audiences. A more self-aware artist may not exist — his bullish swagger could bounce other artists to the curb. This new song plays soft for a few measures before a big, bass-heavy chorus that dominates the radio.

“Gonna Wanna Tonight” was on airplay charts for an entire year, which prevented more songs from his last album from becoming singles. Rice says fans can expect deeper, more thoughtful and introspective songs on this upcoming project, but with “Whisper” he’s picked up where he left off with Ready Set Roll.

Listen to Chase Rice “Whisper”

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Chace Rice, “Whisper” Lyrics:

“What if I rolled the dial to the right / Let that minor chord steer this night / What if I slid a match and lit the wick / What if I shut ya up with my lips on your lips / Let the gravel of my voice / Drown out all the noise.”

“With a whisper tonight (tell me right now) / These thoughts that no one else should hear / Cut through my lips, dance in your ear till light (lay on down) / Comes burnin’ through that window pane / Your hair’s painting that pillow case / Answer me baby with nothing but your body / Your hands got a crazy way of talkin’ naughty / Let the other side of these walls / The ups and downs of these halls / Hear what can start with a whisper.”

“And what if that kitchen table gets a wreck / Yeah plates crashing down with my breath on your neck / What if that $75.94 you spent at the store / Takes the rest of the night off as it slides to the floor.”

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