Chad Austin's debut is an impressive batch of neo-traditional yet radio-friendly songs that deserve acclaim. Austin got his start singing demos in Nashville and his vocals, reminiscent of Charley Pride and Gene Watson, are a consistent strength here. The material is predominantly ballads, "weepers" as Austin puts it. "Brand New Me" demonstrates his range and touch with a melancholy song admirably. "What Day Is This," a former demo tune for him, features a lovely steel guitar and strings that accent the forlorn story. "Both Sides Of Goodbye," perhaps the strongest track of the bunch, delivers a potent emotional punch.
But while his heart might lie strongest with the weepers, Austin does a solid job with more up-tempo material as well. "Show's To Go Ya" is a likable shuffle, with the "she done me wrong" theme shrugged off with a smile. "This Ain't My Wife," written by Austin, is a country rockin' exclamation of surprise from a husband who can't believe that the negligeed vamp that meets him at the door after his day's work is the gal he's married to. Austin's premiere, alongside Daryl Worley's and the "new" Tyler England, is an encouraging sign indeed.