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Clint Black

On Purpose – 2015 (Black Top)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Clint Black

Clint Black must sometimes feel like an alien fallen to earth when comparing his music -- such as the many fine new songs found on his latest "On Purpose" album - with what's in vogue on the mainstream country charts. Rather than partying till he pukes, as so many of his younger brethren are doing these days, Black oftentimes waxes philosophical. "Not everything's gonna go my way," he admits during the sometimes funny reflections found in "Better and Worse." "I got a little money, but it's in her purse," he later quips. This song will strongly stimulate pleasure centers of longtime Black fans, especially when the country singer/songwriter starts blowing some bluesy harmonica on it, as he's so often done in the past.

Black was a lot like Brad Paisley, back during his late '80s/early '90s heyday, in that he always came off as the nice guy. He's never been the toughest or most controversial (can anyone say Toby Keith?), but he's always been a songwriter with a special ability to share widespread common ground among his listening demographic. For instance, the new "Doing It Now for Love" describes a man who had his priorities all messed up for a while, where too much of his energy was wasted going after material possessions - such as fancy sports cars - but is now better motivated by the higher inspiration of love.

Black summarizes his 'big picture' thoughts best with "One Way to Live," when he states the necessity of living for love. He adds that we need to love what we do and also love those close to us. "No one will catch you when you fall, when you're only in it alone," he states starkly. "There must be a million ways to die," he sings on the chorus, "but only one way to live."

Also like Paisley, Black says a lot of things most of us think - only much more poetically. "On Purpose" is an apt title because Black's positive songs help fill the mostly black hole of contemporary country music with high ideals worth hanging your hat on.