Arden Lambert


January 9, 2021


January 9, 2021


January 9, 2021

Over a decade ago, Chris Young released “The Man I Want to Be” as the third single and title track from his album of the same name. 

The song quickly snagged the top spot of Billboard Hot Country Songs; it was the singer’s second of five consecutive No. 1 hits on that chart. It also received great reviews from music critics very much praising Young’s vocal performance.

For instance, Juli Thanki of Engine 145 finds Young’s vocal performance as “slightly reminiscent” of Keith Whitley. He also said it’s “the best voice to hit commercial country since Josh Turner.”

A Song That Will Make You Want To Be a Better Person

Written by Brett James and Tim Nichols, “The Man I Want to Be” tells the tale of a man describing the man he wants to be. He realized he hasn’t been the man that he should in the first verse and expressed how he wants God to help him change.

The man longs for his old lover back in the second verse, and he knows it would only be possible if he becomes the ideal man for her. 

“I wanna be a good man. A ‘do like I should’ man. I wanna be the kind of man the mirror likes to see. I wanna be a strong man. And admit that I was wrong, man. God, I’m asking you to come change me. To the man I wanna be,” the song goes.

Young knew he just had to cut “The Man I Want to Be” even before the song reached the second verse, and he wanted to do it immediately before anyone else took the song.

One of its songwriters, Brett James, shared to The Boot how the song came into fruition. 

“Tim is one of my good songwriting buddies,” he said. “Tim had a couple of lines already about wanting to be a good man and a ‘be like I should, man.’ When that came out of his mouth, we started digging into that idea. I said, ‘What if we make it a prayer? What if he’s talking to God about changing his life?’ Make it that he’s having a conversation with God — not just a friend. That’s when we really started finding that song when we turned it into a prayer.”

He added that they wrote “The Man I Want to Be” from the heart “about wanting to be better people and wanting to make changes in our own life.” 

You can listen to “The Man I Want to Be” in the video below.


Chris Young



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