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Pat Green

What I'm For – 2009 (BNA)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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CDs by Pat Green

Despite his Texas roots and a career that started over a decade ago in the clubs and honky tonks across the Southwest, Pat Green still can't shake the comparisons to heartland songwriters like John Mellencamp and Tom Petty.

Maybe Green is cool with that, because his latest album does little to establish an identifiable sound. And Dann Huff's production clutters several cuts with overblown rock guitar riffs.

The song "Country Star" may be a wink-and-nod ode to being a Nashville hitmaker, but after listening to this 10-song collection, it sounds like an unwitting admission to Green's career path. "Carry On" and "What I'm For" are unimpressive explanations of who Green thinks he is, and the overproduced "Footsteps of Our Fathers" draws directly from the Mellencamp playbook. The San Antonio-born Green's at his best on his two acoustic cuts, "Lucky" and "In the Middle of the Night."

With so many songs here offering glimpses into Green's beliefs and ideals, it's still hard to distinguish just who he is as a country music singer and songwriter.