Blake Shelton, a leader of the back-to-country movement, revs up the tempo with his third album, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill. Led by "Some Beach"?Top 30 Country at this writing and headed for the Top 10 --and filled with ... more »good-time drinkin' songs and bad-time love songs as well as tender-hearted ballads, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill is a barn-burner.« less
Blake Shelton, a leader of the back-to-country movement, revs up the tempo with his third album, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill. Led by "Some Beach"?Top 30 Country at this writing and headed for the Top 10 --and filled with good-time drinkin' songs and bad-time love songs as well as tender-hearted ballads, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill is a barn-burner.
"Prime Cuts: When Somebody Knows You That Well, What's on My Mind, Goodbye Time
Though the menu of "Blake Shelton's Barn and Grill" does not offer anything as gourmet as his debut (and biggest) hit "Austin," it is still Shelton's most appetizing CD. Every ingredient incumbent to brewing a hit recipe in country music is utilized in gregarious doses here: cheating, drinking, loving, leaving and taking life easily. Production wise, this is also Shelton's most balanced effort with its share of modern rockers and traditional stone cold country. Vocally, Shelton's baritone is much more seasoned with more depth and nuanced: a vast improvement from his forceful approach adopted in his previous pallid CD "The Dreamer."
The apogee of "Bar and Grill" is definitely in its slower moments. On the Harley Allen and Jimmy Melton's composition "When Somebody Knows You That Well," Shelton has never sounded more sincere on this true to life ballad about the omnipotence of love in its various contexts. Though this magnum opus was released as the vanguard single to radio, sad to say, it criminally only received a lukewarm response. Though no one could actually rival the great high priest of country music Conway Twitty, Shelton's take of the aculeate "Goodbye Time" is emotionally effectual. More deja entendu moments come with Mary Gauthier's devastatingly beautiful "I Drink." Though Shelton's take does not possess the starkness of the original, it's definitely an avant-garde effort on Shelton's part.
On the uptempo side, hit songwriters Paul Overstreet and Rory Feek's sunny "Some Beach" is indeed a scorcher. A recent number one hit with Shelton wanting to escape the annoyances of life, "Some Beach" has that inviting island party feel that Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney has grown so accustomed to. Overstreet's other composition, a co-write with Even Stevens, "Cotton Picking Time" is somehow a raunchy number about two skinny dipping lovers sewing their oats in the Mississippi sunshine. Formerly cut by the underrated siblings the Marcy Brothers, "Cotton Picking Time" has a perky feel without being too unexceptional. The extremely catchy "What's On My Mind" has all of its co-writer's Jim Lauderdale's quirkiness. Shelton, like many who have covered Lauderdale composition, could not escape from the writer's unique phrasing.
However, not everything works here. Producer and legendary songwriter Bobby Braddock's "Good Ol' Boy, Bad Ol' Boyfriend" is repetitive and banal plea from Shelton to his lady friend to dump her good-for-nothing dude. Shelton has a hand in writing the punchy "Nobody But Me" which sounds more like a 80s pop throwaway.
On the whole "Barn and Grill" offers an interesting buffet of tunes that cater to a plethora of emotions. There's something that speaks to all of us in our varied emotionally state. There's something for the broken hearted, the weary, the despaired and those who are in love. "Barn and Grill" certainly is a place where its songs know your name."
Welcome to Blake Shelton's Barn and Grill!
DanD | 10/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For his third album, Blake Shelton reunites with producer Bobby Braddock (who also happens to be one of Nashville's best songwriters). BLAKE SHELTON'S BARN AND GRILL is not nearly as ballad-heavy as his first two releases, giving it a fresh, invigorating sound more similiar to Shelton's live shows.
There's a sense of wit and fun dispersed throughout this album, from the catchy sing-along "Some Beach" to the tongue-in-cheek "On a Good Day." Drinkin songs, too--might as well have called this album BAR AND GRILL. The last three songs are stellar drinkin songs, and the rest are songs you COULD drink to. Oh, and his version of Conway Twitty's "Goodbye Time" is incredible; rarely have I heard so much emotion packed into one song. And yet, Shelton goes from that heavy, emotional number to other songs, like Braddock's rollickin "Good Old Boy, Bad Ol Boyfriend" with expert ease. He even goes into the Bakersfield sound on the Jim Lauderdale-penned "What's On My Mind." The only song on here that doesn't really go down smooth is the cliched "Cotton Pickin Time."
BLAKE SHELTON'S BARN AND GRILL is a great CD. Shelton is often underrated as a singer and a songwriter (he should write more than he does; he's pretty darn good at it). This album might not do as good a job setting him up as a serious artist as his first two--let's face it, there's no "Austin" or "The Baby" on here--but it's certainly a fun ride for the listener. Shelton is enjoying himself on this album--and you'll enjoy listening to it. Enough traditionalism to satisfy you die-hard country fans, mixed with enough modern sound to appeal to a mass audience. However you look at it, it's a great CD."
He did it again!
Music Mama | Batesville, MS USA | 03/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blake Shelton's Barn and Grill is just awesome. It's a must have for any country music lover! He seems to out do him self every time and I believe he's going to be around for a long time to come. He has a great feel to his music and it just reaches out and touches you and that is something people can relate too. Blake is amazing!"
This is the BEST Blake Shelton CD!
Iowa Sunshine | 11/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have always loved Blake Shelton's hits especially "Austin". But...this CD is HOT! Every track could be a hit and there are 11 of them. Since I bought my own copy, I can't keep from playing it over and over. There is such a mixture of song-types that you just don't get tired of listening to it. Blake's voice and tone really brings the songs across. This is a CD for everyone in my opinion! If you like country, if you like/love Blake, or if you like great tunes, you won't go wrong owning "Barn & Grill" by Blake Shelton. Enjoy! Sharon "
Blake Has Done It Again
rocketa26 | Orlando, FL | 03/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every song on this album is heartfelt and genuine. I love Blake Shelton's ability to draw in new fans to country music. He has an amazing talent and I can't wait for him to start winning some awards for it."