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Blake Shelton

Hillbilly Bone – 2010 (Warner)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton has always been known for fun, tongue-in-cheeks songs with some good ballads thrown in as well. This six-song EP that accurately reflects the normal balance of selection on most of his full-length albums.

Shelton goes straight for the country dance club crowd with Hillbilly Bone, on which Trace Adkins added his vocal talents. The song is about a New Yorker who heads down south and realizes that country music and honky-tonkin' appeal to him. It's a nice storyline, but somewhat similar to Adkins' hit Songs About Me where he converts a city slicker into a country music fan. So, all city folks must not be country music fans? That's a laugh.

Almost Alright is about a man who isn't over his ex, but spends 3:07 humorously trying to convince the listeners that he is.

Can't Afford To Love You is kind of interesting. It's about an average guy in love with a high-maintenance woman, who can't afford to pay for expensive things. But at the same time, he can't live without her.

Shelton has been strong on ballads over the years, but few of them have been as slow and tender as You'll Always Be Beautiful

The Oklahoma native also recorded Kiss My Country A**, a song recorded by Rhett Akins three years ago. Shelton does a better job vocally, but Akins had more twang, and thus is more believable on this particular in-your-face number.