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Dustin Lynch

Dustin Lynch – 2012 (Broken Bow)

Reviewed by Jeff Lincoln

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CDs by Dustin Lynch

Dustin Lynch certainly put in the man-hours in preparing for his first record. The Tennessee native moved the 90 minutes north to Nashville and set to work learning from as many performers as possible. That was back in 2003. He's now 27 and ready for his close-up.

Lynch makes a memorable arrival announcement with the leadoff tune, She Cranks My Tractor. This turn-it-up burner, scorches with a barrage of sly lyrics about a wild woman. It doesn't just knock on the door of the Nashville songwriting establishment - it kicks it clear in.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the album's first single, Cowboys and Angels, shows the tender side of Lynch's music. The simple tune gently ponders the differing ways of Mars and Venus , while reinforcing how similar and strong their love can be for one another. Waiting, another softer highlight, gives us a catchy confession about a man who overstayed his welcome.

Nothing else on the record has the melodic or lyrical strength of these songs, but Lynch does score a few extra-base hits (Unwind It, Name On It). It's remarkable how breezy the whole affair is. Lynch mostly sidesteps the complexities of relationships for another chance to sing about the joys of beer and pretty girls. Dancing in the Headlights with its scratchy guitars and loopy chorus, even starts to head in a disco/pop direction - one can picture Maroon 5 covering it. Lynch is clearly an apostle of a good time, and with the investment of all this pre-work into his career, it's fair to say he's earned it.