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Blake Shelton - Pure BS  
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist 

Move beyond the tongue-firmly-in cheek title of Blake Shelton’s latest, Pure BS, and you’ll hear anything but something to laugh at. The singer/songwriter from Oklahoma has delivered more of the pure and less of the BS, on this his fourth album. Soaked in heartache, love, loss and hard drinking, the artist whose debut 2001 single, “Austin”, stayed top of Billboard charts for an envied 5 weeks has arrived with a real deal album.

Offering three penned tunes to the album, Shelton pushes his comfort zone by bringing not one but three producers to the effort. Bobby Braddock, a long-time Shelton collaborator, having worked on the first three albums, Brent Rowan and Paul Worley has each had a hand at the production desk, shaping and sharpening the needed sound. A sound Shelton has been saying is something to push newer boundaries. 

And it works.

The album is moody. It’s etched with reflection and troubled times, revved along the journey with a couple of standout toe-tappers. “The Last Country Song”, featuring John Anderson and George Jones, rounds out the album with a tale of rural repossession against a traditional music backdrop. “The More I Drink”, a David Lee Murphy co-write with Chris DuBois and Dave Turnbull, is comedic country, telling of a guy who, when primed, is an all-dancing, karaoke-loving party animal.

But it’s when Shelton digs deep, pulls in, and lets the emotion flow the album takes its direction. “Don’t Make Me”, with its already radio interest, shows the way. The leaving-the-love-behind tale of a guy torn between a push and a tug is powerful and pure. More of the same comes with “I Don’t Care” – heart aching and hurting country with a closing twist. “It Ain’t Easy Being Me”, a remembered Chris Knight tune, receives a favorable rework here, complete with its dark introspection and tortured honesty, making it a coveted clone on the album. A Shelton co-write (Michael Kosser and Rachael Proctor) “I Have Been Lonely” mirrors the mood, while a tune Billy Ray Cyrus included on his Time Flies album, “She Don’t Love Me (She Don’t Hate Me)”, is a telling observation of a chance meeting with a former flame, only to see by her attitude and new beau she’s moved on – a far cry from the door slamming of her departure that showed anything but a carefree exit.

Blake Shelton doesn’t need a hat to show he’s country. His voice does that. The songs here prove the fact. If you want your twang with edge, feeling and tempered with a style that’s new country, all peppered with a tad of traditional, this one’s for you. 

And friends, that’s no BS. It’s pure Blake Shelton.

The album’s out now on Warner Bros.


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