This Ole Boy by Craig Morgan

The Tennessee native’s seventh album brims with typical country fare, exalting all things rural, as in those kinds of locales where fishing can equal an ideal date night (“Fish Weren’t Bitin’”) and banged-up trucks are the popular rides (as in current single “This Ole Boy”).

He longs for the slower-paced country life and more innocent times on “More Trucks Than Cars” and “Country Boys Like Me,” then becomes nostalgic over the ever-dwindling family time spent laughing, swapping stories and solving problems on “The Whole World Needs a Kitchen.”

The album’s one true heartbreak ballad, “I Didn’t Drink,” is the emotional zenith of the project, where the pain of losing a lover drives a man to drink for the first time. The singer’s standard good-ole-boy fare has served him well, mounting a string of Top 10 hits including “Bonfire,” “Redneck Yacht Club” and “Little Bit of Life”; this style clearly finds Craig at his most confident and comfortable. Yet, when he sings Hangin’ off the edge is my kind of chillin’ in “Being Alive and Livin’,” it makes one wish he would risk more musical edginess with his song choices, too.

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