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Easton Corbin

About to Get Real – 2015 (Mercury Nashville)

Reviewed by Bill Caruthers

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CDs by Easton Corbin

Seeing Easton Corbin sporting a skinny tie on the cover notwithstanding, from the first track "Kiss Me One More Time," Corbin gives notice that this is no "bro country" album. He is singing to the women. Next, "Guys and Girls," could've easily fallen prey to the "...since there's a banjo, it must be country" vibe, but it is a country song too!

"Clockwork" relates how lovers risk reaping the same rewards or punishment over and over.

"Baby Be My Love Song" and the title track follow the same path of current subject matter mated with true country music. Imagine young Strait singing vintage Twitty in 2015. Get the picture?

How did "Yup" and "Wild Women and Whiskey" ever get by Blake Shelton? The former is built around an acoustic guitar riff, telling the oft told tale of sticking around a little later than prudent at the club, and the latter, a sing-along song, could have easily been a Wade Hayes hits from the early '90's.

Corbin sticks to his guns channeling King George with the Tex-Mex "Are You With Me" and the pick-up song, "Damn Girl." Even on "Just Add Water," a summer anthem, Corbin resists the urge to go full bore new country and instead suggests a more traditional route to get there. Ending with the lush, heartbreaker, "Like a Song," Corbin keeps the "flame" lit for a lost love and for traditional country fans the world over.

With songs written or co-written with the cream of the crop of current Nashville hit-makers, Corbin has succeeded in making a relevant album in 2015 that could have been a hit 20 years ago. Hats off to Easton Corbin and producer Carson Chamberlain.