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Thanks for Listening by Colt Ford

Grade: B

When it comes to star power, Colt Ford has it in spades on Thanks for Listening.

Country stars like Keith Urban, Lee Brice, Justin Moore, Jerrod Niemann and Randy Houser all appear on the hip-hop-flavored country star’s fifth album.

His lyrics reflect what he knows: family, faith, friends and a rural Georgia lifestyle full of trucks, moonshine, dirt roads and camouflage. So if you’re looking for a revolutionary change in lyrical content, you may not find it here.

However, Colt has pushed his personal envelope, stretching away from just recitation and proving he’s a pretty competent singer on the choruses of “Workin’ On,” “Crank It Up” and “Outshine Me,” the latter of which has the same intoxicating feel as Cupid’s 2007 hip-hop smash “Cupid Shuffle.”

Colt can also slow it down for a poignant tune, as he does so beautifully with the help of Lee Brice on “Sip It Slow.”

And the title track opens with a sawing fiddle that is undeniably country, and a whole lot of fun.

If you are adamantly against hip-hop rhythms and rappy verses, simply put, you won’t like it. But if Ludacris, or even Cowboy Troy, is part of your music collection, you’re going to really dig this.

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