Blake Shelton, Texoma Shore | Album Review
Blake Shelton returns with a consistent, enjoyable studio album with ‘Texoma Shore.’ His voice and personality shines through.
Country musician and entertainer extraordinaire Blake Shelton certainly has a big personality. Understatement. This is a big part of his appeal artistically. Additionally, he has a great voice, perfectly suited for country music. All this considered, Shelton’s career is ‘running like a well-oiled machine.’ Texoma Shore showcases Shelton in a great place in his career. He doesn’t reinvent country music, but delivers an album that’s respectable from start to finish.
“I’ll Name the Dogs”
“I’ll Name the Dogs” kicks things off soundly. A palette of sounds, typical of the country music script, forms the backdrop. Blake Shelton, likewise, gives a sound vocal performance, painting on the backdrop like a champ. “I’ll Name the Dogs” centers on building a family, relationship, etc. The chorus is incredibly catchy – catchy enough to appeal to broader audience. All in all, it’s an enjoyable, fun listen, devoid of glaring cons.
The chill, easygoing “At the House” keeps the momentum of Texoma Shore rolling right along. The chorus is quick-paced and wordy, but endearing and infectious. For the most part, “At the House” continues to embrace country, but there are a few, slick production cues that aren’t idiomatic. Regardless, it works out well.
“Beside You Babe”
“Beside You Babe” keeps country music alive and well, but not without a dash of synth – bass synth to be precise. This sound gives the record some additional oomph, mixing seamlessly with the rhythmic guitars. The song is enjoyable, but arguably, the groove is even better. On “Why Me,” Shelton thinks about how blessed he is to have her – “You could have picked anybody / why me?” He shows incredible sincerity.
Follow-up “Money” is the opposite. Here, Shelton amps up ridiculousness and corniness to the nth degree. Even so, this tongue-n-cheek joint has plenty of charm. Shelton exhibits such charm with playful spoken vocals, and silly lyrics. Definitely the most fun record from Texoma Shore.
“Ridin’ rubber, rent checks, livin’ on Ramen / Chappin’ our ass ’cause we can’t afford Charmin / Rockin’ that one-ply, one-ply / Shakin’ down the couch, found a buffalo nickel / Medium guitar pick, Burger King pickle / Eww, it’s kinda petrified, petrified.”
“Turnin’ Me On”
“Turnin’ Me On” is the lengthiest record, approaching the five-minute mark. Despite being a wee bit too long, it’s well-rounded. Shelton continues to flex his best attribute – his voice. Notably, it’s co-written by Shelton. Furthermore, it’s inspired by his girlfriend, Gwen Stefani.
“She’s turning me on, turning me on / Pushing my buttons like it ain’t no thing / If I’m what she wants, she gets what she wants / The neon’s buzzing when she pulls that string / Turning me on like it’s her job / Sometimes I think she must get off on / Turning me on, turning me on.”
Among the crème de la crème is “The Wave,” a thoughtful, well-penned, mid-tempo cut that shows off the sheer radiance of Shelton’s voice. The songwriting truly takes this to the next level. While it is perfect for a traditional country fan, there’s appeal behind the core fan base thanks to stellar execution. Following the excellence of “The Wave” is an arduous task. “Got the T-Shirt” plays out well, but fails to eclipse the high-flying song that precedes it. Nonetheless, Shelton benefits from beautiful, confident vocals and a catchy chorus.
Alcohol comes into play on the silly, but undeniably fun “Hangover Due.” On the chorus, Shelton paints a picture of him and his girl not knowing what the hell happened:
“Trying to piece together just what the hell happened / Looking over the crime scene / Only seeing my jeans / And a pair of your high-heeled shoes / Me and you / are hangover due.”
Still focused on alcoholic consumption, “When the Wine Wears Off” ultimately has a bigger message, best conveyed by the chorus.
“When the wine wears off / And the buzz is gone / When the room starts spinning around and ‘round / Will you still be holding on / Have we lost our minds / Or is your kiss that strong / Tell me will you still be mine / Baby when the wine wears off?”
Essentially, Shelton wonders if the love is legitimate and not just fueled by being drunk. He closes more thoughtfully on “I Lived It,” expanding on his life as a good ole country boy. This is a frequent product of country music artists, yet Shelton makes the tried-and-true as compelling as ever.
All in all, Blake Shelton delivers an enjoyable, well-rounded effort with Texoma Shore. Shelton serves up great vocals, plenty of charm and personality, and respectable songs. Texoma Shore won’t change your life, but, it’s a solid addition to the country music collection without question.
Gems: “I’ll Name the Dogs,” “At the House,” “Money,” “Turnin’ Me On,” “The Waves”