Rodney Atkins - It's America
By: Liz Jungers
It’s America, not rocket science. Rodney Atkins’s third studio album, It’s America, is rife with the kind of relentlessly upbeat everyman tunes that made If You’re Going Through Hell such a monster album. Having achieved platinum certification and four #1 singles, Rodney’s breakout CD proved a tough act to follow, and while It’s America may run deep with ready-for-radio ear candy singles, it’s lacking in depth. Despite some killer musicianship, demonstrated best on the twin fiddles and energetic honky-tonk piano, Rodney’s voice is in places over-processed, lending the production an overdone, packaged feel that diminishes the relatability and sincerity that have made this country boy so popular.
The lead single and title track “It’s America” is a solid representation of the sound and mood of this album (country-pop, and damn good, respectively), offering up a postcard-perfect image of the kind of country-loving, God-fearing America that Rodney Atkins stands for. Atkins obviously knows what kind of artist he is and what type of music he wants to make, and that self-assurance resonates throughout the album. Atkins paints vivid images of the good country life with songs like “Tell A Country Boy,” a good ole boy’s anthem for the ages, “Best Things,” “Simple Things,” “Friends With Tractors,” and “Got It Good,” whose feel-good lyrics and sunny melody make it a highlight of the album.
It’s America is, in fact, feel-good through and through. It is Atkins’s love letter to the universe, giving thanks for the blessings in his life and celebrating the lifestyle he holds dear. And while there’s nothing wrong with positivity and fun per se, the overall effect is somewhat one-note.
Current hit single "Farmer's Daughter," which has a sound featured on the rest of the album, has been tacked onto this album (along with the re-recorded version of "Chasin' Girls").