John Rich, of the smash-hit country duo Big & Rich, calls James Otto The Biggest Voice in Country Music and Otto's new album, Sunset Man, co-produced by Rich, proves why. From the soulful "Just Got Started Lovin' You" to t... more »he muscular "Ain't Gonna Stop," James Otto promises to deliver a fresh, big sound to the format.« less
John Rich, of the smash-hit country duo Big & Rich, calls James Otto The Biggest Voice in Country Music and Otto's new album, Sunset Man, co-produced by Rich, proves why. From the soulful "Just Got Started Lovin' You" to the muscular "Ain't Gonna Stop," James Otto promises to deliver a fresh, big sound to the format.
"James Otto's first disc was good -- actually a great debut, but it skidded under the country radar, but that is due to radio's need to play the same artists over and over again until we know the words in reverse. I was more than happy when I heard his voice again on the radio. For one, anyone who hears it just once will recognize it the moment they hear it again. Otto's voice is rich, and deep like dark chocolate. It takes on that tiger-ish purr of Alan Jackson's with a range leap like Gary Allan's -- now that's a voice.
His new disc, "Sunset Man" is almost perfect. Every disc has their clunkers but the standouts are truly noteworthy. That excellent first single "Just Got Started Loving You" with Otto's voice climbing those scales and that slow guitar play -- MORE PLEASE!! And it delivers with cuts like "When a Woman's Not Watching," and "You Don't Act Like My Woman" are other choice cuts.
Otto's best comes into play on the slower material. He just has the voice for it. "For You" is just a pure great country song. I actually got this album twice. One for me and one for my sister who's just as hooked on Otto's voice as I am."
The Sun of Stardom Beams Brightly on "Sunset Man"
T. Yap | Sydney, NSW, Australia | 04/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Prime Cuts: Where Angels Hang Around, Just Got Started Lovin' You, For You
When Otto released his debut "Days of Our Lives" in 2004, it didn't really make his day. Otto's brand of patented progressive rock with an occasional dabble with southern swamp was ahead of its time. Almost 4 years later, with the assault of the Musik Mafia (i.e., Big and Rich, Keith Anderson and Gretchen Wilson) on the country charts, the time seems right for the second advent of this Washington State native. Thanks to the familial ties of brother-in-law Jay DeMarcus (one of the Rascal Flatts) and the high and mighty John Rich (the half of Big and Rich) who helmed this CD, Otto is in good hands. Fortune indeed has already rear its head when lead single "Just Got Started Lovin' You" is already a top 5 hit. Nevertheless, two qualities set "Sunset Man" apart from the prodigious albums of country-rock efforts Nashville churns out each year. First, Otto has an expressive soulful voice that calls to mind Travis Tritt without his gruffness. Second, Otto does not just sing--he sings with his heart on the sleeve.
Of the tracks that truly show Otto's more vulnerable side are the ballads. While many rockers are reticent to show their more romantic side, this is not the case with Otto. Backed only by the lonesome steel guitar and the understated strumming of the guitar, on "For You" Otto bears his soul of the struggles he feels after a bitter breakup. A song that harkens back to Travis Tritt's "Anymore," Otto performs with high charged emotions that is simply a must hear. Less dramatic, the title cut "Sunset Man" is a thematic sequel to "For You" about a man's lifestyle after he has lost his true love. "Sunset Man," the title cut, is perhaps the most country track on this record. More emotional moments abound with "Where Angels Hang Around" is a moving tribute to St. Jude Children's Hospital where Otto squeezes every emotion from every note.
"Just Got Started Lovin' You," the lead single, is postcard perfect for a hit. Its incessant drum beat, its catchy hooks, its sensuous lyrics of a plea for passionate love, and Otto's bluesy soul vocals are all ingredients for a great song. Otto does exhibit his humorous side on "Drink and Dial" over a high octane workout heavy with wailing guitars and rolling drum works. Edgy guitars lead the way for sophomore single "Ain't Gonna Start." However, truth be told, there's nothing that's immediately grabbing about this new single. Ditto for "Damn Right."
Otto, like the members of his troupe Muzik Mafia, knows the way around country radio. This new disc is choke full of servings for country radio. However, Otto with his attention paid to selecting songs that deal with the heart, create depth and promise often in dire when it comes to such rock-country CDs. With a career looking so bright, it won't be long before the sun of stardom beams on the sunset man. "
BillyBob | Apache Junction,AZ USA | 05/31/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"James Otto has great potential with his strong, gritty soulful voice. However, this album "sunset man" I feel is a dud. The song "just got started loving you" totally deserves to be a number 1 hit. This song is pure hard country at it's best. On a recent road trip I listened to the cd twice and aside from just got started loving you, it struck me as just boring. I ended up giving the cd away. So much of what Nashville is churning out right now is a mix of hip hop, r&b, rock and pop with pedal steele guitar or a fiddle thrown in here and there. it's not country that's for sure. If I did this again I would just buy the mp3 down load of just got started loving you and call it good. James, get away from the muzik mafia and you should do well."
M. Daws | TALLAHASSEE, FL. | 05/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of this guy until his single came out (Just got started loving you). I usually don't buy CD's because of one song, but I thought I would give it a try. I LOVE this CD! I really enjoyed most of the songs, not just one or two others. If you liked his single, I really think you will not be dissappointed with this CD."
Paula H. Sterlin | North Little Rock, AR USA | 07/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent CD for anyone. I enjoyed listening to this CD. I would recommend this CD for all."