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Josh Turner

Your Man – 2006 (MCA Nashville)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

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CDs by Josh Turner

Josh Turner had a 2003 throwback hit, "Long Black Train," a platinum LP, and a hatful of CMA and ACM nominations. His sonorous baritone and the single's train rhythm prompted comparisons to Johnny Cash, but his sliding-note style proved George Jones and Randy Travis as primary influences. This sophomore release continues to capitalize on his deep-as-a-well voice with seductive low notes on the bluesy title ballad, a Barry White-styled spoken intro to the countrypolitan "No Rush" and a warm reprise of Don Williams' early-90s hit "Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy."

Less successful are Turner's originals. His co-write with John Anderson, "White Noise," is late to the redneck party and offensively blunt, and the ballads "Angels Fall Sometimes" and "Gravity" are pedestrian country-modern. Better are his duet with Ralph Stanley on the acoustic "Me and God," and the evocation of southern raisin' in "Way Down South." Turner's voice is an arresting instrument, but he's still riding the fence between forgettable crossover material and songs worthy of his gift.