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Billy Currington

Billy Currington – 2003 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Billy Currington

One of the greatest difficulties any newcomer faces is forging an individualized style. Few are capable of completely doing so, and Billy Currington is not immune.

But Currington benefits greatly from a lot of quality songs on his debut. And he has himself to thank since he co-wrote all but one of the songs, mainly with producer Carson Chamberlain and top songwriter Casey Beathard. Most deal with love, but a few set a scene like the piano driven "Growin' Up Down There."

The music's filled with lots of country sounds - like fiddle by Stuart Duncan quite prominent on the catchy lead-off "I Got a Feelin'" and pedal steel from Paul Franklin on "That's Just Me," a paean to old school values like Andy Griffith.Perhaps the artist that Currington most recalls is Brad Paisley with his vocal styling. The songs aren't quite as good as Paisley's (sometimes they tend to be a bit too easy going, like "Hangin' Around"), but the country sentiment easily comes through.

Most of the time. Unfortunately the most heartfelt song, "Walk a Little Straighter," the hit about an alcoholic father, is way too light on the country quotient where weepy steel could have worked wonders. Currington may not have quite found his musical voice yet, but the Georgia native clearly is off to a good, strong start.