Blake Shelton - Red River Blue
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Red River Blue (Warner, 2011)

Blake Shelton

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

With the right set of songs, Blake Shelton can sound really great. "Red River Blue" just might be that right set of songs because Shelton has never sounded better. There are moments on this set where Shelton goes country-soul, a la James Otto, most notably with Ready To Roll and Drink On It, and also places where that The Voice guy voices a few power ballads, such as on I'm Sorry.

A big part of Shelton's appeal with viewers on The Voice is the way Shelton seems to think and say those things the average person is contemplating, yet doesn't have the national forum to express. Shelton has one of these 'national voice' moments here with Good Ole Boys, where he asks, "Where did all the good ole boys go?" Sure, its lyric playfully plays on a few Southern stereotypes. However, these good ole boys aren't just Southern fellas alone. They're also true men that know how to cover their Fruit of the Looms with jeans and open a door for a lady when the opportunity arises. Such 'real men' are sadly in short supply.

Technically speaking, "Red River Blue" is not a beginning-to-end country album because so much of it is polished and pop-oriented. However, whenever Shelton lays on the country boy persona thick, which he particularly does during the silly Hey, he comes off like Trace Adkins separated-at-birth brother. At these moments, Blake Shelton is truly great.

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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