Blake Shelton 'Red River Blues' Humphead/Warner Bros.

Currently making waves in Music City Shelton consolidates his position with this new album. He's not a writer and so relies on his voice to deliver these songs which often make reference to Conway and Lorreta, to beer, to good ole boys and to laid back country tunes whilst sounding like country music tends to sound these days. In other words crafted songs, big sounds and solid vocals that are perfect for these cross-over styled songs. Shelton is managed by Starstruck Management and his career has gone from strength to strength. He's married to Miranda Lambert so life is good for this good ole boy right now. Scott Hendricks is spot on for the market they're aiming for and you can see the appeal of these friendly songs. As each new wave of singers emerges on a major label the sound moves away from what many knew and loved as country music. This is country music for a different time and age and Blake Shelton does what he does very well and it will doubtless hit the spot for many but for others they'll wonder where the steel and fiddle is in the mix. This is a well produced and played, positive album that, on occasion, like on Good Ole Boys shows that when Shelton get that bit closer to the source and you can hear the guitar twang you see that Shelton could one day deliver something closer to a Conway Twitty classic. But then, in truth, it could well be that Blake Shelton is the Conway Twitty of the future as Conway certainly changed his style to suit the times, so maybe he already has and I'm just missing the point.