XII (Twelve) by Neal McCoy
For his 12th studio album, Neal McCoy turned to powerhouse couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, as well as ace session guitarist Brent Rowan, for production duties. However, Blake and Miranda’s creative contributions don’t stop there—Miranda offers harmonies on the tearjerker “Every Fire,” while Blake and Miranda join in on the album’s lead single, “A-OK.”
Neal’s undeniable charisma and easygoing, confident vocal delivery have made him one of country music’s most entertaining live performers; he wisely allows both to take center stage throughout the album, especially on the groovin’ “Real Good Feel Good” and the humorous, western swing-tinged “Mouth,” co-written by Jamey Johnson.
Neal embraces his soulful side on “Crazy Women” and is sweetly sincere on “Judge a Man by the Woman,” reminiscent of his 1996 hit “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye.”
He sets aside his lighthearted style for the slow, shimmering album-closer, “Van Gogh,” penned by the same duo that crafted Miranda’s hit “The House That Built Me,” Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin.