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We Are Tonight by Billy Currington

Billy Currington might be one of Nashville’s most criminally underrated stars, quietly notching hits like “People Are Crazy” and “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer” while headliner status stays just out of reach. But as he demonstrates on his latest album, We Are Tonight, Billy is a skilled interpreter of songs with a knack for finding the soul in every selection.

Women are a big part of that approach, naturally. In crunchy lead single “Hey Girl,” Billy plays the guy who gets tongue-tied around a lovely lady. Right after that is “Wingman,” a humorous throwback jam about a dude whose buddy steals the woman Billy’s been eyeing.

Billy also chimes in on the mainstreaming of counterculture in the sublimely twangy “Hard to Be a Hippie,” which gets some knowing help from Willie Nelson. There’s also a groovy cover of Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes,” with a rap from Billy’s collaborator Shy Carter.

The title track, while undeniably anthemic, falls back on the small-town truck-riding clichés so prevalent at the moment.

But it’s the stuff like “Another Day Without You,” which pairs a loose groove in the vein of the Commodores’ “Easy” to lines about being hopelessly smitten with someone, where Billy truly excels.

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