Blake Shelton’s new album “Based on a True Story,” is a bit like a roller coaster. You go up, up, up but occasionally you go down a bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, it still has great moments, but on some of the tracks I want to shake him around and ask him “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?!”
Opening up with “Boys ‘Round Here” rubbed me the wrong way. It seems to be crawling next to the category of country/pop. Not that there is anything wrong with a little pop, but I expected a little more from Shelton, especially on an opening track. What he follows up shortly with thereafter is like a car crash that I can’t stop looking at, whilst shaking my head in disgust.
I understand why he decided to record “Small Town Big Time”, he missed home while taping “The Voice” in Hollywood and how importance is on materialistic items and not life. But the auto-tune was unnecessary. I could go on for days on how much I loathe auto-tune, but I will spare you all. To have an artist like Blake Shelton use auto-tune strictly for proving a point and not having to cover up a voice, because he does have a great voice, is not acceptable by me. It brings down not only the song, but Shelton himself. The point was taken through the lyrics of the song,
With them red Maserati’s and them tuned up bodies
And everybody gonna be the next somebody
Yea, this place is a trip
Hey but meanwhile back in the stick
Somebody’s having a small town big time night
Somebody’s rocking the main street with red tail lights
Somebody’s cranking it up or falling in love
Or keeping the buzz sipping on a little moonlight.
Other than these down points, there are some great tracks on the album. “Frame of Mine” emulates the old country western sound, showing off Shelton’s vocal capability. Or during the ballad of “Do You Remember,” I can feel his strong sense of love and devotion being eluded to, that he once had. During “My Eyes,” Shelton shares the microphone with Gwen Sebastian and harmonies about taking everything except for his eyes off that one special lady. Probably my favorite is “Lay Low”, while Shelton swoons from note to note, with the same sounds of one of my favorite tracks by Josh Turner “Your Man”. Although having its own entity, it shares something which brings that classic ballad to my heart.
I may have sounded a bit condescending starting this review off, and I have to somewhat revise my tone. I really do enjoy listening to the album, but those two tracks stick out so much it left me with a bad taste on my tongue. But looking at the album as a whole, it does show the ability of Shelton’s talent and devotion for love and country music.