High Noon by Jerrod Niemann

Jerrod Niemann is not content to sound like all of his country contemporaries. He’s proven that over his first two albums, Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury and Free the Music. With his third full-length release, High Noon, Jerrod doubles down on the eclectic approaches he has long favored and comes up with a bag full of surprises.

Lyrically, lead single “Drink to That All Night” is the one about drinking/dancing with the boys/girls, but it’s one of the most seamless blends of country-rock with pulse-quickening dance music textures out there, and Jerrod rides the unholy beast like a champ.

Yeah, there’s plenty of drinking in this batch of tunes, but Jerrod has the sense to view it a little differently, as on the stop-and-smell-the-whiskey slow jam “Come On, Come On” or when he’s two-timing the neon lights in “Day Drinkin’.”

Jerrod also excels at just playing it straight, as on the angsty “I Can’t Give In Anymore,” where he makes a case that he’s one of country’s most versatile stylists.

Others, like “We Know How to Rock” and “Beach Baby,” are cool-sounding but don’t yield much in the way of clever surprises.

But it’s pretty hard to argue with something like “Refill,” a soulful little groove for the weary traveler who needs a bed back home but will have to recharge with whatever spirits are at hand. It’ll no doubt sound great at every cookout this summer, without sounding like anything else.

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