Country traditionalist Josh Turner released his latest album, Haywire, this past Tuesday and it’s another solid album from the country crooner. On this album, Turner goes a little more mainstream but also keeps his usual traditional sound as well.
The album kicks off with its lead off single, the recent #1 hit, “Why Don’t We Just Dance” which finds Turner bringing his usual charm to a song about forgetting the world’s troubles and simply just dancing. The song keeps with its theme by using an infectious melody that finds it impossible to not toe tap along. The album is full of Turner’s charm and infectious melody combination which also comes across on songs like the title track, “Haywire,” and “Your Smile” which allows the album to have a high energy start.
Josh does a fantastic job at showing how great of a balladeer he’s become, such as on the track “Lovin You On My Mind” which finds Josh channeling his inner Barry White on this sexy, soulful song. The song finds the narrator unable to keep his woman off of his mind and can hardly wait to get home and start loving her…if you know what I mean. Josh does a fantastic job at making sure the sexiness of the song shines through with his voice and emotion. No doubt, many of Josh’s female fans will find themselves swooning to this song. Along with that, the other standout ballads on the album include “I wouldn’t Be a Man” and “I’ll Be There” which finds Josh singing about all the ways he’ll be there when he’s needed as a father (which is no doubt directed towards his two sons).
As I said earlier, Turner brings his usual country sound but also experiments with other sounds. This is more prominent on the song “All Over Me” which finds Josh letting his love interest know that she can pour her love all over him. This song has the most bass and electric guitar than anything I’ve heard from Turner as well as a prominent piano melody. This song exemplifies how fantastic Turner is at pushing the line of country-pop but still keeping it traditional sounding, something that’s rare among today’s most successful artists.
Though most of the album is filled with songs of significance, there are some fillers that could’ve been replaced. A perfect example is the track “Eye Candy” which I think is the weakest song on the album as far as lyrics go, though it does show Josh’s charm and personality. Another song that falls in that category is the working man song “Friday Paycheck” which finds Josh singing about using his paycheck to go buy a ‘chili cheese dog’ at the bowling alley where he’s trying to beat his score. Again, this isn’t the best written song on the album, but it proves Josh knows who he is as an artist and what he can do well which is the uptempo semi-novelty songs (which I have to admit are some of my favorites by him).
The strongest song, lyrically, on the album is the album’s closer, “The Answer.” Turner combines the sounds of country and gospel on this song about how if you want to find the answer to some of life’s problems you should count on Jesus to have them. Backed by a choir, Josh does a fantastic job at conveying the message in this song. The only problem I have is with the production which finds Josh competing with the choir who sometimes overshadows him. Had that aspect of the song been toned down a few notches, the song could probably be the highlight of the album.
Overall, the album flows exceptionally well and has a nice balance of uptempo songs and ballads. The production as a whole is solid with little flaws and Turner’s vocals are spot on, as usual. It’s obvious Josh Turner and his producer Frank Rogers wanted to make an album that sounded different than Turner’s other releases while still keeping their artistic beliefs. I think they did a fantastic job on this record and I hope they keep experimenting with different sounds because I’m liking what I’m hearing so far.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars