The three-time Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year clearly doesn't need AutoTune, but the high-tech trickery is used for effect on the autobiographical Southern rocker “Small Town Big Time,” which expresses his homesickness for down home living during his Hollywood residencies for “The Voice.”
The say-anything bravado that has earned Shelton so many admirers is given full rein on the brash “I Still Got a Finger,” which is sure to draw comparisons to David Allan Coe and Johnny Paycheck's “Take This Job and Shove It.” He also channels his Countrypolitan hero Conway Twitty on the seductive “Lay Low,” while “Granddaddy's Gun,” previously covered by rock/country crossover artist Aaron Lewis, has all the hallmarks of a classic country story-song.
But the ballads are the best parts of Shelton's “Story,” particularly the weeper “Mine Would Be You” and the sultry “My Eyes.” The newlywed bliss that flowed on “Red River Blue” seeps in with the good-natured “Doin' What She Likes” and the earnest “Ten Times Crazier.”
Shelton will bring his “Ten Times Crazier Tour” to Tulsa's BOK Center on Oct 4. For more information, go to www.bokcenter.com.
— Brandy McDonnell