Album Review: Blake Shelton - Based On A True Story...
By: Matt Bjorke
The star has never burned brighter for Blake Shelton than it does as the time of the release of Based On A True Story…, the first album released by The Voice mentor after his monumental CMA Entertainer of the Year award from 2012. It's a time in his life where everything is seemingly golden and great and throughout the course of the record, it's pretty evident as there aren't many sad songs on the record (actually there's only one). It's just where he is in his life.
The lack of many sad songs may immediately steer some folks from wanting to listen to the record but for as mainstream as Based On A True Story… is, Blake Shelton still takes chances here or there, like the opener "Boys Round Here." This tune, which has mostly spoken verses, is certainly going to polarize fans. It might even be called a 'rap' song but to my ears - at least - it is no different than the Classic Country talking songs. Another chance taken by Shelton is "I Still Got A Finger," a song that has a good-time melody but wouldn't feel outta place on country radio for the past two decades, a sound which makes it feel a little timeless, and thus somewhat of a 'chance.'
Classic country fans may dig "Lay Low," a song which cannot be seen as anything but a groove-filled Neo-Traditional Country song (it was written by Dean Dillon, Dave Turnbull and Tim Nichols). They may also like "My Eyes" and "Doin' What She Likes." They will probably scoff at "Country On The Radio" and "Small Town Big Time," the former because it talks about all the trendy songs that describe the virtues of small town life while the latter one uses auto tuning to help prove a lyrical point (as a sort of plot device).
Blake Shelton's at the point where he can't win for losing, meaning there's such an expectation with what he releases based on his multiple awards and high profile but if those people ("Critics" if you will) would just sit and listen to the music without any pre-determined notions, they'll find Based On A True Story… is a strong, current record with a couple of moments that demand repeated attention. This is a record which should very well help Blake Shelton's star burn even brighter and longer.
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