Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Album Review: Billy Currington - Enjoy Yourself

Country heartthrob Billy Currington seems to have found his niche as the hillbilly slacker - a fact that is evidenced throughout his newly-released fourth album Enjoy Yourself.  The album's lead-off single, "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer" perfectly set the tone for the album to follow.  If you've heard that song, you've practically heard the whole album.

Enjoy Yourself is an easily digestible slice of calm and inoffensive contemporary country.  The vast majority of the songs have a laid-back shuffle tempo, with production that resembles soft 80s-style pop-rock with a touch of country twang.  The set includes a Chesney-esque trip to the beach ("Perfect Day") along with a Paisley-esque ode to the joys of fishing ("Bad Day of Fishin'").  As a whole, the album has a lyrical message that could easily be summed up in three simple words - Take it easy!

To Billy's credit, this style does suit him well, and he pulls it off very convincingly.  He performs each song in a laid-back delivery that aptly fits the subject matter of the songs.  The main problem with this album is that it fails to strike a balance of lyrical themes, instead gravitating toward one lazy little ditty after another.  While lazy ditties are not inherently crappy, hearing an album that's chock-full of them is like listening to the same song over and over again.

There are a couple of breaks in the monotony.  The romantic soft-rocker "Until You," provides one serious moment.  One standout track is "Love Done Gone," which features a horn arrangement sent against a catchy "ba-da-da-ba-ba-baaa" hook.  On "Like My Dog," a narrator wishes that his woman loved him the same way his dog loved him (In that, for example, his dog doesn't play dead when he wants to pet him).  In a way, that song almost seems to stand out just for the fact that it takes hokey-ness to a whole new level.

While most of the songs on this album could be described as "pretty good," there's really nothing on this album that can be called great.  There's not much in the way of lyrical profundity, and there are no songs that really make you think.  Since Billy has substantial vocal talent, it would be nice to see him aim a little higher artistically.

 Enjoy Yourself is a mildly pleasant album, but it is not an engaging one.  You might find a few good guilty pleasures on here, but not much else.  If you're looking for some country music that has some real meat in it, you won't find it here.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)