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Billy Currington

Little Bit Of Everything – 2008 (MCA Nashville)

Reviewed by Jessica Phillips

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CDs by Billy Currington

Billy Currington's newest album could be titled, "Little Bit of Everything (That Has Worked So Far)." The disc's lead single, Don't almost recreates the magic of his sexy signature song, "Must Be Doing Something Right," with its suggestive R&B strut and pleading chorus. Currington doesn't break any new ground on his third outing, which is slightly disappointing considering all that has happened since his last album release: a canceled tour (due to laryngitis), a 30-day stint in a trauma recovery program and a long vacation. Instead, Currington keeps a good thing going, carefully retaining his image as a little bit country, a little bit flirty, a little bit romantic and a little bit playboy. His tribute to good ole southern boys, That's How Country Boys Roll, brings to mind his previous disc's I Want to be a Hillbilly, while the gem Everything, with it's coy phrasing and sing-along melody, could be another Good Directions.

While this doesn't feature any superstar duets or Kenny Rogers covers, Currington is flexing his song-crafting muscles here, most notably on the sweet and sincere, No One Has Eyes Like You, (sample lyric: "They laugh when I'm happy and cry when I'm sad/ They make me out to be more than I am") and the relaxed, contemplative Life and Love and the Meaning Of . Though the lyrics on this track don't live up to its lofty, profound title, no one really expects that anyway from this laid-back, Georgia country boy. His fans will be happy to coast along with him.

One major development is the improvement of Currington's vocals. They've gotten even richer and more nuanced. The texture is at once comforting and smooth, burning and rough around the edges, like mixing beer and molasses. The disc's lone "power ballad," the smoldering Heal Me, is a prime example. Currington does his best to be a pop/soul balladeer and his voice, for the most part, confidently lives up to the task while remaining unmistakably southern-tinged, if not outright country.

If you liked Currington's previous outing, you'll like this; it is a little bit of the same.