Blake Shelton - Blake Shelton
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Blake Shelton (Warner, 2001)

Blake Shelton

Reviewed by Scott Homewood

In today's varied country/Americana music landscape, it seems everyone has an extreme opinion as to what should be considered "cool" and what is considered "corporate country." Having an old time fiddle and a steel guitar or two may garner your album "cool" points while taking off the fiddles and steel guitars may make your album seem "corporate" or too poppy unless you are part of the brigade that is "cool" enough to ignore the old time approach (seen as traditonal and, guess what?, "corporate") and load up on electric guitars like a Southern rock band.

Consider Blake Shelton's album to be in the latter category. But still kinda corporate. Shelton's album loads up on the guitars of the Allman's, Lynyrd Skynyrd and that ilk, while his songs strain to sound more important and weighty than they really are. There seems to be a strain in Shelton's mostly blas+ effort to sound radical and on the edge when he really sounds like an amped up Garth Brooks without the writing or song-choosing skills or a too-polished Steve Earle, again without the writing skills.

While his voice sounds warm and radio-friendly, this album just smacks of being assembled with the intent on capturing the burgeoning alternative country market. It could be ignored if the music transcended the feeling, but it sadly fails on most of those counts.

CDs by Blake Shelton

Fully Loaded: God's Country, 2019 Texoma Shore, 2017 Live EP, 2017 If I'm Honest, 2016 Bringing Back the Sunshine, 2014 Based on a True Story, 2013 Red River Blue, 2011 Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton, 2010 All About Tonight, 2010 Hillbilly Bone, 2010 Startin' Fires, 2008 Pure BS Deluxe Edition, 2008 Pure BS, 2007

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