With American Young's first full-length album, AY, dig deeper into its mission. Each inspired the other to try something crazy: Rather than be guided by trends, they vowed to write and record only music that touched them personally. That way, Kristy explains, "our songs are like invitations to intimacy." These include "Love Is War" and "God Sends a Train," two songs fraught with deep emotional meaning and rendered passionately in their new incarnations. The material being premiered on AY is just as revealing. From "Something To You," which Kristy had to fight back tears to record, to the playfully bantering "Point Of View" and the timeless yet timely tragedies evoked by "Soldier's Wife," the album presents Jon and Kristy with neither apology nor artifice. What they offer in song comes from who they are, not what others would want them to be — plus a winning guest appearance by old pal Lee Brice on the sweetly nostalgic "Eighteen." Maybe this is a risky strategy. Then again, maybe the time has come at last for honesty to reclaim its place in popular music.