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Blake Shelton

All About Tonight – 2010 (Warner)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton was successful in March with "Six Pack," which his label said wasn't an EP, but at six tracks, you judge. Whatever. His new disc is similar in length. The emphasis is on uptempo, rocking songs with touches of Brad Paisley-styled guitar twang. Shelton sings with vigor from the get go with the title song. At the same time, releasing music more frequently doesn't mean that there are a lot of great songs - none of which Shelton had a hand in writing - here. The title track may be hummable, but it's light.

The best song by far is Draggin' The River with fiancé Miranda Lambert on vocals. Whether Lambert's presence pushes Shelton to dig deeper is unknown, but she just may have. Lambert also showed she's a far more expressive singer.

Lambert additionally helped by co-writing the power ballad Suffocating with Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. Shelton sings more like he means it, but the song sounds tailor made for Tim McGraw.

The quieter Who Are You When I'm Not Looking, about what a woman is like when the guy is not around, just isn't all that. Who cares? That Thing We Do comes off a bit too smooth. Chances are co-writer Jeff Bates (with Jason Matthews), a soulful, full-bodied singer, would infuse the words with a lot more grit. Shelton closes with Got a Little Country, which is way too cute for its own good. With lyrics from Tony Mullins and Craig Wiseman like " Time by Lady Rolex /Body by Bowflex / Hair by Hollywood salon / Bag by Louis Vuitton," this is not a song for the ages.

Shelton ought to keep that Lambert woman around more. She seems to be moving him in the right direction unlike the other uninteresting songs here.