Darryl Worley gets dark on his fourth and deepest album. The dozen songs often focus on the hardscrabble small town Southern life, murder, facing death and difficult relationships. This is not easy subject matter to digest even when Worley applies a lighter side musically (the well done "I Love Her, She Hates Me").
"If Something Should Happen" is sung in the voice of a cancer victim who may not survive. Not exactly the typical major label country fare these days. "Facing Death" describes the torturous use of drugs in a small town.
But while the subject matter may be dark, Worley elevates it with a slew of 12 well put together songs, 7 of which he wrote. Producer Frank Rogers continues doing a good turn with Worley as well and going with material that works for Worley. What has changed is Worley pours his heart into the songs. There's a bit more edge, a bit more emotion in his vocal delivery. Doing so really adds a lot of believability to the songs. Worley has a great baritone, and he makes fine use of it.
It would have been easy to stick to the tried and true that has worked for Worley in the past, but he deserves much credit for stretching out vocally, thematically and musically.