Town Line by Aaron Lewis

Aaron Lewis brings the same introspective balladry from his days as frontman for rock band Staind (“It’s Been Awhile”) to his attempt as the next rock-country crossover. The songs here are rich with imagery, coupled with soulful arrangements, and should appeal to fans of Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum.

While it’s slightly disconcerting to hear Aaron’s Alice in Chains-esque voice wrapped around tame homages to family and home, it’s at least commendable that he’s resisted the temptation to don a faux twang as well. This offering is slim at seven tracks, including a re-recorded version of “Tangled Up in You,” which appeared on Staind’s sixth album, The Illusion of Progress, and two alternate versions of “Country Boy,” his first single. The song is an unfortunately overextended string of rural impressions.

Though George Jones, Chris Young and Charlie Daniels appear, supposedly to endorse Aaron’s country credentials, perhaps Aaron would benefit from following Darius’ example in the format, by actually singing a country song instead of “proving” his country roots.

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