Bucky Covington is the latest American Idol alum to dive headlong in the country genre. Covington and fellow Idol Season 5 contestant Kellie Pickler are out to prove you don't have to win the competition to launch a career.
As a top 10 finisher, Covington was a fan favorite because of his vocals and fun-loving personality. The problem with his debut album is that much of that personality is suppressed in favor of broad stroke generic songs. While his vocals sound better than ever, many of the songs come off as contrived and do little to showcase Covington. Take for example "I'll Walk," a song centered around the phrase "I'll Walk" that goes from a small lover's spat to paralysis or "I'm Good" a calypso flavored prayer to God to get a woman.
The upside is that there are several good songs including the current single "A Different World" and "Hometown" where the strengths of Covington's voice shine through and show the potential of the young artist. Songs range from mid-tempo straight new country numbers like "Carolina Blue" to straight-up Southern rockers like "Ain't No Thing" and "Empty Handed." It's an uneven debut, but the potential is there, and he handles most of the material very well.
In an industry that is becoming more about instant gratification through immediate success, the powers ought to allow Covington to continue to grow as an artist and come into his own.