Country singer Blake Shelton has been one to look out for since the release of his self-titled debut album. The Oklahoma born, Tennessee-discovered singer has since then charted 24 singles, 11 of which were number ones.
In addition, Shelton has been nominated for five Grammy Awards and won several Country Music Awards.
Shelton is married to fellow country singer Miranda Lambert, who Shelton has done several duets with. When he’s not on stage singing, he’s working as a judge for televised singing competitions, most popularly “The Voice.”
On Tuesday, Shelton released his 11th album, “Bringing Back the Sunshine” which reached the iTunes number one top album spot. The new album consists of 12 songs, and featured two tracks with singers Ashley Monroe and RaeLynn.
Fans of Shelton can be rest assured that most of the new album stayed true to his musical style. Happy-go-lucky sounding guitar licks and catchy drum beats go along with the occasional stroke of lyrical expertise.
The album kicks off with an energetic song, which is also the album’s title, “Bringing Back The Sunshine.” The song told the story of a man who tried to balance his love life and career, something listeners will find to be a common theme throughout the album. Memorable lyrics for this track include: “Miss you more than words can say. Guess we’ve got a little off track, but love knows a way back, through the storms and pouring rain.”
Shelton is really able to connect to a variety of audiences with a more serious and somber tone, as well as, one of a cheeky boyishness. “Neon Light” highlights on the latter, with lyrics such as: “I take a shot of ‘I don’t care what you’re doing now,’ chase that one with a cold ‘screw you.’” The upbeat, exuberant sound of this track is the kind of country music to blast with the car top down.
“Lonely Tonight,” featuring Ashley Monroe, tells the extremely common and clichéd story of a man heartbroken and lonely over a woman who he loved and lost. While this is a common theme in the country genre, once overlooked, this track is one of the most enjoyable on the album.
Shelton alternated between different melodies and forced listeners to truly appreciate the contrast between his and Monroe’s voice. Songs such as “Lonely Tonight,” are relatable to the targeted demographic, with lyrics including: “I don’t wanna be right, I don’t wanna be strong, I just wanna hold you till the heart breaks stone. When the sun comes up, we can both move on, but we don’t have to be lonely tonight.”
Shelton lost a bit of believability on this album, however, in songs such as “Gonna” and “A Girl.” In these songs, the 38-year-old singer talked about sneaking out and breaking curfew, two things that don’t seem to line up with his personality. While the lyrics: “Had to steal, daddy’s car, park it far from her house, and throwing rocks at her window till she’s sneaking out” may seem familiar to 16-year-olds, they don’t exactly seem relevant to Shelton.
Overall, fans of Shelton will not be disappointed with “Bringing Back The Sunshine,” as it does stay true to his up-tempo and fun nature, with a twist to the lyrics. Many of the tracks, while remaining upbeat, tell sentimental stories which surprisingly work for Shelton. With the exception of a few tracks, it seemed that Shelton had grown up through his albums all while putting a bit more of himself into them.