Album Review: Lee Brice - “Lee Brice”

After three years away to take a breath and live his life with his growing family, Lee Brice returns with a self-titled 15 track collection which was well worth the wait.

Since the beginning of his career, Lee Brice has been heavily involved in the creation of his albums, serving as a main writer, producer and player on his projects. He’s not just a nice-singing hired gun. The Curb Records artist’s latest album, the self-titled Lee Brice, is no different with the star taking on production duties for he entire collection with collaborators like Jon Stone, Kyle Jacobs, Dan Frizsell and Cody Labelle. The record wavers through rockers, ballads and somewhere in between with the common thread through it all being the lyrics and passionate vocals from Lee Brice.

Lead single “Boy,” one of only four tracks (out of 15) on the album not written or co-written by Brice, is nonetheless a song which suits his life and the emotive vocals which have long been Lee Brice’s hallmark. A song about the way children end up always being like their parents, “Boy” is the kind of song which could only be written and recorded by a country singer. It’s sentimental without being sappy. “You Can’t Help Who You Love” is a power ballad where Lee sings of the rare and true fact that love often chooses us, we don’t choose it. It’s a crazy thing but when you know it, you know it. There are a couple of collaborative songs on the record, “I Don’t Smoke” and “Story To Tell (Little Bird).” They both feature Warren Haynes and his iconic slide guitar playing while the latter one also was co-written and features Edwin McCain. These are songs which make for great parts of an album or live set but I’d be shocked if they’re ever radio singles.

As for future singles, There’s a trio of songs in the middle of Lee Brice which likely will get a shot at some point, and for good reason. “Rumor” is a silky, slinky slice of country/soul about a couple making the stories going around town true while “The Locals” is the kind of working man’s anthem which make for both great radio songs and for concert moments. It’s all about the hardscrabble lifeblood and storytellers of any town, anywhere. Finally, “Songs In The Kitchen” is a song about how music is a massive part of our lives. Much like “Boy,” this is a song that could only be a country song. It’s poignant without being preachy or hokey. Another song worthy of radio attention is “The Best Part Of Me,” a song which has an anthemic melody backing up a sweet chorus about a guy who knows who makes him who he is, the love of his life.

Lee Brice has a knack for making complete albums, albums with a flow from start to end and this, his self-titled fourth album, is no different. Not only is Lee Brice the kind of album fans will like, it’s one with emotion and depth, something that doesn’t always happen in country music these days. Like hero and mentor Garth Brooks, Lee Brice keeps making music that will stand the test of time.