Tate Stevens (album)

Tate, the winner of The X Factor’s second season in 2012, sings well enough, but without any hint of originality or personality.

The same could easily be said for the material, which seeks to belabor us with more of the same testaments to this idealized, Norman Rockwell-ish country lifestyle that we’re beginning to think never existed in the first place. Yep, there are all the standard references to grease on my hands, Chevys and dirt on my boots, and that’s just in the opening track, “I Got This.”

Most of the other selections travel the same worn-out territory, with a couple exceptions.

“Holler If You’re With Me,” which got some play during the recent NCAA basketball tournament, shows some feistiness (plus a great line, Pull out your twang and show me how to use it), while “Power of a Love Song” proves that Tate can handle a nice ballad.

And you must allow that the album does enlist some of Music Row’s ace composers, including David Lee Murphy, Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip and Wade Kirby. But there’s just nothing here, either in the vocals or song selection, that makes the album stand out. 

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