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Trace Adkins

Love Will... – 2013 (Show Dog-Universal)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins is all about love here. Not exactly a new topic in the canon of (country) music, but Adkins capably addresses the issue. He goes traditional from the get go on perhaps the best song here - When I Stop Loving You, penned by neo-traditionalist Marty Brown and Even Stevens. Adkins' silky, full-throttled baritone owns the song.

Adkins always has been a strong singer with a big, full sounding voice easy on the ears. He takes a decent song - The Altar of Your Love which he helped write - and through holding notes, intonation and emphasis, instills a believability in the lyrics. His soulful, restrained reading of So What If I Do is delivered with vocal power.

Adkins had a lot of help in putting the release together, using four different producers for some reason. Fortunately, there's a consistency and coherency, and it should be pointed out that he uses folks like Frank Rogers, Tony Brown and Kenny Beard, who all know what a country song is all about. For example, Beard, Mark Wright and Jack Cones even employ steel courtesy of Scotty Sanders on Every One of You, and it makes a difference in hewing closer to a traditional sound.

The only misstep here - and it's a big one - is a cover of Exile's Kiss You All Over, which also features the guys that made it famous. The disco beat is in sharp contrast to Adkins' typical style and smacks of going overtly commercial.

Fortunately, such moments are far and few in between on these 11 songs. While Adkins may not have anything exactly earth shattering to say about the subject matter at hand, once again with his vibrant, lively voice in hand, he does it well.