Hard 2 Love by Lee Brice

Evidently, the love that inspired the newly engaged Lee to propose to his fiancée also inspired several tunes on his latest album.

The mellow lead-off single, “A Woman Like You,” is a sensible love song declaring I’d take a gold band on my hand over being a single man, even if that means giving up his Nova and less time spent deep-sea fishing. “Hard to Love” praises the graceful woman who stands by him.

The disc is as rowdy as it is romantic, with the alcohol-influenced bravado of the crowd favorite, “Beer,” and “Parking Lot Party,” where the merriment extends beyond the concert stage. While beginning a song with a heartbeat isn’t an innovation in popular music (and hasn’t been since at least the early ’70s), Lee uses it to great effect on “That’s When You Know It’s Over.”

Lee makes things interesting by including unexpected excerpts of phone conversations with his fiancée (on the piano-laced “See About a Girl”) and with his son, Takoda (on the album’s closer, “One More Day),” but its his soulful, muscular voice and keen songwriting, which radiate throughout the project, that do the real communicating. 

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