Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
Dustin Lynch is a throwback on his sophomore release thanks to the good-looking Tennessee native sporting a straw cowboy hat, Now that's something you don't see these days unless you happen to be King George Strait. Instead, the hat acts of yesteryear - the moniker, in reality, was a dig at those who were part of the same milk toast country sounds that were being put out in the '90s - traded them in for baseball caps.
Lynch is yet another in the seemingly endless line these days, however, of artists who either lyrically or in this case with the look profess that they really, truly are country. The truth is that looks aside, Lynch is not all that different with the major players out there today. (Okay, at least he doesn't rap).
The guitars are blazing strong on the lead-off "One Hell of a Night" in a clichéd tale of lovers on the back roads. Of course, they are driving a truck. And when Lynch isn't busy hitting the back roads, he's rocking his way through "To the Sky" where he sings of "We'll be flying up in the clouds/Like we're never gonna come back down." The song was one of five Lynch helped write.
Lynch wasn't very inventive when it came to subject matter - he wants to hang with the girl on the obviously intended "After Party," and he's okay if he's getting some on the title track hit "Where It's At (Yep Yep)" even if it's not in his "suped-up shiny red new truck." But on the follow-up, "Mind Games," he's back in the car hoping for action. "How'd you know to whisper in my ear/Let's take this party back to my place," Lynch sings in his even-keeled soulful voice, which sounds well throughout. He shines on the going back to roots of "World To Me," without resorting to chest beating.
And so it goes in song after song about girls and vehicles. Lynch doesn't exactly venture wide or deep on his sophomore effort in a cliché-ridden disc. Maybe he should trade in his cowboy hat for a baseball cap.