Song In My Head – Blake Shelton CD Review
Blake Shelton has consistently made hits since his debut back in 2001 with Austin. Lately though he's been on fire. His songs consistently make the top of country charts (starting with Hillbilly Bone, he's had 8 No.1 singles in a row) and his continued success on NBC's The Voice is bringing in new audiences. One thing that aids in this success is Shelton's openness with fans and his down home personality that provides a good laugh and, let's be honest, oozes with country boy charm. With his eighth studio album, Based On A True Story..., he brings that same charisma.
Based On A True Story... has all the things you would expect of a country album: love songs that make you want to sway around the dance floor with that special someone and songs that remind you of why you love country living in the first place. While some of the songs border on generic, Shelton's strong vocals and willingness to add different elements bring life to the 12-piece set.
The current chart topper, Boys 'Round Here, kicks off the album with the impossibly catchy "red, red, red, red...redneck" hook. Songs like this one and Sure Be Cool If You Did carry a hip-hop undertone with the subtle way Shelton flows his words together to produce a "country rap."
Small Town Big Time and Country On The Radio are nice changes from the love songs that dominate the album, both showcasing Shelton's love for his small town country roots. I Still Got A Finger is the song that shows Shelton's playful side the most and the one that will make you want to tell off anyone that tests your nerves. Call it an update on David Allen Coe's Take This Job and Shove It if you will.
My Eyes features former The Voice contestant Gwen Sebastian and has lyrics that would make your grandparents blush but will make the girls swoon. Shelton croons, "Tied up hair, wanna let it down/ And just let the rest fall to the ground...My eyes/ Are the only thing I don't want to take off of you." (cue the fluttering heartbeat) The simple nature of the music and lyrics makes this an easy listen.
The two songs that highlight the album are Mine Would Be You and Granddaddy's Gun. The former is most likely a soon to be No. 1 hit. It's the classic Shelton love song, similar to God Gave Me You, but the lyrics carry a raw honesty that Shelton delivers perfectly. Lyrics like "What's your all time high, your good-as-it-gets/ Your hands-down, best ever makeup sex/ What's your guilty pleasure, your ol' go-to/ Well if you asked me/ Mine would be you" fill the song but the most heartfelt lyric comes at the end with "Girl can you tell me/ The one thing you'd rather die than lose/ Cause mine would be you." Trust me, you'll want to break out the wine and candles for this one.
The latter, Granddaddy's Gun, is one of those that might not make it to the radio but is the most personal. We all have that one item that provokes a memory of a lost loved one and Shelton captures that perfectly here.
Based On A True Story... is appropriately titled because each song seems to point to a memory or experience of Shelton's. Because of this, we see his playful nature, his country boy roots, and southern charm all throughout the album, making it one of his best yet. After listening, you'll want to listen to it again and with each listen, you'll find those little things that make Based On A True Story... (and Blake Shelton) unique and wonderful.