Russell Dickerson - Yours
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Yours (Triple Tigers, 2017)

Russell Dickerson

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Russell Dickerson's "Yours" may make you ask yourself, 'Is this really country music?' many times over. The first track to bring up this query is "Billions." This song, speculating how true love is worth its weight in gold, bobs along to a faux reggae beat and could easily be mistaken for a Maroon 5 single. Another, "MGNO," an acronym for 'my girl's night out,' opens with an echoing electric guitar intro seemingly kipped directly from The Edge's work on U2's "The Joshua Tree." Both these songs feature laudable influences. Just not country ones.

With that said, though, some of Dickerson's pop music is enjoyable. "You Look Like a Love Song," with its old school soul groove complete with a soulful horn section, gets to you the same way Thomas Rhett's equally un-country singles hook you in. It even features saucy female backing vocalists on the chorus. However, listening to the album from front to back feels like aural Where's Waldo whenever searching for hints of traditional country music in its mix. "Twentysomething" may have a big whoa, whoa, whoa anthemic chorus, but it also features a banjo part running through it. This lone instrument might not make it a country song, but it's also not an element you'll likely ever hear on, say, a Justin Bieber single. The album includes an acoustic version of "Yours," listed as Wedding Edition, which is a breath of fresh air. It matches Dickerson's soulful voice with acoustic guitar and strings and sounds nice in its uncluttered format. The single version of the same song is relatively generic, but it's not as un-country as most the rest of the album.

"Yours" is a not half bad Southern pop album, with little ambition other than fitting in with mainstream country's pop-leaning radio charts. And while it achieves this low hanging fruit goal, that's not really much of a compliment.

CDs by Russell Dickerson

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