Nearly smack dab in the middle of a mostly inconsequential collection of songs, Jimmie Allen hits us with "Habits & Hearts," a truly gripping song about substance abuse. "But habits are harder than hearts to break," Allen reminds us during the chorus. Had he given us 16 more songs like this jaw dropper, "Tulip Drive" could have been a truly great and memorable album. Ah, but he didn't.
For some unknown reason, Allen found it necessary to include "Pesos," a Latin-y number featuring CeeLo Green and T–Pain. Not only is it not good Latin music, it's also not especially country, either. Allen also found space to duet with Jennifer Lopez on "On My Way." Is he helping Latin/pop artists better reach country listeners, or is Allen hinting at a future crossover into Latin music? Either way, these two inclusions are hardly engaging or worth our time.
Stylistically, "Tulip Drive" is akin to one of those breezy Keith Urban-like albums; albeit, without all those showy electric guitar solos. However, as breezy pop-country songs go, "Kissin You" does decidedly hit its mark. It doesn't really matter what a couple does during any given day, its lyric tells us, just as long as it ends with some evening kissing. Elsewhere, "Every Time I Say Amen" is an endearing song about thankfulness.
Jimmie Allen can certainly be frustrating. He has a smooth, enjoyable singing voice. And he's extremely effective whenever he chooses to sing material worthy of his gifted vocal instrument. Sadly, too much of "Tulip Drive" is an extended exercise in poor choices.