A version of this review appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Thompson Square “Just Feels Good” (Stoney Creek Records)
“Just Feels Good,” the sophomore album from contemporary country duo Thompson Square, lives up its title as well as the promise of the couple’s eponymous 2011 breakout.
Over the past few years, the pairing of Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson and his wife of 14 years, Shawna, has become one of country’s best feel-good success stories. The aspiring musicians moved to Nashville, Tenn., the same week, fell in love and toiled in obscurity for more than a decade before at long last earning a deal at Stoney Creek Records. Their debut album became a smash on the strength of the sweet Grammy-nominated single “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.”
“Just Feels Good” sticks with the couple’s strengths — namely their excellent harmonies and obvious chemistry — with all 13 tracks addressing various stages of romance. With the exception of the effectively somber lead single “If I Didn’t Have You,” already a top 10 hit and rising on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the tone of the album is overwhelmingly effervescent, dominated by bright melodies, catchy electric guitars and sing-along choruses.
The Thompsons co-wrote six of the tracks, collaborating with Oklahoma-bred songsmith Brett James on the bouncy opener “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About,” with the couple playfully bantering about ignoring their mundane chores to sneak in some extra time between the sheets, and the equally appealing “Life of Me,” which revels in how a relationship can work despite divergent tastes and personalities.
The couple, who won their second straight vocal duo of the year title at Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards, entwine faith and love on the anthemic “You Don’t Get Lucky,” affectionately look at how far they’ve come together with “That’s So Me and You” and celebrates the certainty of martial bliss with the closer “Home Is You.”
Romance takes the backseat in the reggae-infused, backroads-cruising title track and the infectious live-in-the-moment rocker “Here’s to Being Here,” but for the most part, there’s a lot of love — and a lot to love — on “Just Feels Good.”
The duo is currently touring with Luke Bryan on his “Dirt Road Diaries Tour,” which will make a stop Sept. 14 at Tulsa’s BOK Center. For more information, go to www.bokcenter.com.
In addition, Thompson Square will play a May 23 show at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. For more information, go to www.cainsballroom.com.