Mar 26, 201311:38 AMThe Telegraph

The Premier Blog of the West

First Listen: Blake Shelton’s New Album ‘Based On A True Story …’

Mar 26, 2013 - 11:38 AM
First Listen: Blake Shelton’s New Album ‘Based On A True Story …’

Image: Courtesy Warner Music

Recent C&I cover star Blake Shelton is having a big week: His hit NBC reality show The Voice rocketed back to the airwaves last night, and today he released his eighth studio album, Based on a True Story …

We’re hearing the new record for the first time, just like you, so we thought it’d be fun to share some initial impressions while we listen (join us by pushing play below if you're on Spotify).


“Boys ‘Round Here” – “Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit.” That’s part of the chorus in this half-rapped, full-throttle backwoods anthem. There are also some nice, confident harmonies from them thar Pistol Annies.

“Sure Be Cool If You Did” – A little clever wordplay, an earwormy melody, and a catchphrase originally made famous by McConaughey? Hard to go wrong with that combo. Bonus points for rhyming “neon” and “be on.”

“Do You Remember” – A natural progression from “Sure Be Cool…”: This power ballad finds Shelton looking back on the good times and begging his lady to do the same. “I still feel the hope in your kisses/I still feel the sun on your skin.”

“Small Town Big Time” – There’s a bit of ironic voice manipulation going on in this Mellencamp-style hand-clapper that pays tribute to the dreamers who live in places much smaller than Hollywood. One would imagine Big Blake singing this tune in his bathroom mirror after a particularly taxing ‘Voice’ taping.

“Country On The Radio” –This one takes the backroads-driving, pasture-partying lyric to a new level, in that Blake’s also defending the subject matter as a tried-and-true country radio tradition. A song within a song.

“My Eyes” – Blake shows his Twitty side in this soulful duet with his former ‘Voice’ team member Gwen Sebastian. The smoothest track we’ve heard yet.

“Doin’ What She Likes” – “Happy wife, happy life” is the particular saying that informs this ditty. Lazy husbands everywhere might feel a little threatened if this hits the charts.

“I Still Got A Finger” – His finger’s famous on ‘The Voice’ for its signature point-to-self motion. But this song isn’t about that. It’s more of a middle-finger, take-this-job-and-shove-it song. A natural sequel to “Some Beach.”

“Mine Would Be You” – Blake’s a skilled crooner to be able to make references to tattoos, Marlboro Reds, and 90 proof hooch in a love song and still come across as tender.

“Lay Low” – A Shelton-style seduction is pretty simple and direct: A bubble bath, a bottle of tequila, and a weekend in the great indoors.

“Ten Times Crazier” – Another breezy, instantly familiar love song. This album’s got a strong romantic vibe. We’ll have what he’s having.   

“Granddaddy’s Gun” – Politics don’t play into the lyric at all; the old Sears-bought shotgun in this song symbolizes the love and wisdom passed from generation to generation. “He taught me a whole lot more than how to hunt/And one of these days I’ll pass it on to my son.”

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