Blake Shelton hit big in March with “Six Pack,” which his label said wasn’t an EP, however by today’s market it should have been considered an EP. Now, Blake has released his new disc, which is similar in length and he has placed an emphasis on uptempo, rocking songs with touches of Brad Paisley-styled guitar twang. Shelton sings with power from of the start of the title track, which is great. Although releasing music more frequently can be a great thing for an artist, it creates a high pressure enviroment to push out new song that are radio ready and Shelton is apperantly keeping up. While it should be noted that Shelton did not write any of the songs on this EP, one can see that he poured over the songs to make sure they fit his style and brand of Country. The title track may be hummable, but it’s light.
The best song by far is Draggin’ The River with fiancé Miranda Lambert on vocals. Whether Lambert’s presence pushes Shelton to dig deeper is unknown, but she just may have. Lambert also showed she’s a far more expressive singer (Remz).
Lambert additionally helped by co-writing the power ballad Suffocating with Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. Shelton sings more like he means it, but the song sounds tailor made for Tim McGraw.
The quieter Who Are You When I’m Not Looking, about what a woman is like when the guy is not around, just isn’t all that. Who cares? That Thing We Do comes off a bit too smooth. Chances are co-writer Jeff Bates (with Jason Matthews), a soulful, full-bodied singer, would infuse the words with a lot more grit. Shelton closes with Who Are You When I’m Not Looking, which is way too cute for its own good. With lyrics from Tony Mullins and Craig Wiseman like ” Time by Lady Rolex /Body by Bowflex / Hair by Hollywood salon / Bag by Louis Vuitton,” this is not a song for the ages. Shelton ought to keep that Lambert woman around more. She seems to be moving him in the right direction unlike the other uninteresting songs here (Remz).