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Trace Adkins

Something's Going On – 2017 (Wheelhouse)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins' wonderful low singing voice can be a little deceptive because he could easily sing utter crap and still somehow sound great. It's why the critical ear must pay close attention to specifically what he's saying in his songs whenever evaluating his work. Adkins doesn't write his own songs, so he's entirely dependent upon stellar writers. Thankfully, "Something's Going On" is a better than average collection of songs, especially good for Adkins, as he sings them all so well.

The best lyrical line appears on "Gonna Make You Miss Me," when Adkins declares how he's going to get stuck in a girl's head "like a catchy little Taylor Swift song." And love or hate Swift, we all know what that feels like. Another memorable track, which Tommy Lee James also had a hand in writing, is "Country Boy Problems," which applies the 'first world problems' saying to issues specific to diehard Southerners.

Adkins knows drink-related songs are nearly required on any modern country albums, just as are Southern pride numbers, so he opens this album with three songs somehow referencing alcohol. "Ain't just the Whisky Talkin'" removes all social blame from liquor, "Jesus and Jones" explores the age-old Saturday night/Sunday morning moral dilemma and "Watered Down" uses lightened alcohol content to describe the aging process.

The something that's always going on with Adkins is his God-given singing voice. And God's also granted some fine songs to use it for on with this release.