Blake Shelton,
Blake Shelton
(Warner Brothers, 2001)

I thought I had gotten over country music back in the mid-'90s as it started crossing over into the adult contemporary sound of a few years earlier -- with a southern twang added for flavor. Well, darn it if Blake Shelton hasn't piqued my interest in the genre again! His self-titled CD reminds me of on age when BlackHawk, Rhett Akins and Clay Walker had taken over my CD player.

If you are at all a fan of country music, you have doubtlessly heard of this Oklahoma native. Three of the 10 songs on this CD have been released to radio play (that I know about). The first was the magical "Austin," a ballad that grabs you with its simple tale of love. The difference is that an old love is rekindled through an answering machine. The hook is Blake's voice. This man has an awesome voice!

The range of Blake's vocal repertoire is nicely demonstrated in the second release, "All Over Me." This boy hits some high notes you would think he shouldn't be capable of! Blake deftly shares the emotion felt by one who has lost at love in this song I'm sure many listeners can relate to.

Before you think this CD contains only ballads, let me tell you that there are quite a few boot-scootin' tunes that will make you want to dance. "She Doesn't Know She's Got It" is a good example. If any song on the CD could inspire a line-dance, this would be it. The third release, "Ol' Red," is another tune with a faster beat.

There is not a bad song on this CD. But there is one song that makes me chuckle (unintentionally, I think). "Same Old Song" talks about how country music has stagnated over the years. As the chorus states, "I'm tired of the same old guy / with the same old song, / 'bout the same old love that goes on and on / Same old guitar / and the same old strum / I may be country but I'm not dumb." What makes this song so amusing is that this CD is full of songs that the singer is supposedly tired of.

Blake Shelton has been on store shelves since 2001. In fact, this review comes out just about in time for you to purchase Blake's second CD, from which the song "The Baby" has been released.

Whether you are an old fan of country or someone like me who had to take a break, Blake Shelton is an artist worth checking out. I am glad I had a chance to review his first CD! Now if I can just remember where I stored my hat and boots....

- Rambles
written by Wil Owen
published 4 January 2003

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