Eric Church sings the first four lines of the first song as if he’s been embodied by Toby Keith, talking about the Middle East, gas, and mama’s apple pie. But fortunately, “Before She Does” comes off much better and less redneck than anything Mr. Keith has done recently. Sounding like a cross between Dierks Bentley and Keith Urban, the ditty finds its footing during the second verse. Meanwhile, “Sinners Like Me” is a slower, mellower track that would fit well on a Tim McGraw album. The difference being Church has written all of this material with some help, even the Dierks-ish “How ‘Bout You” that sounds eerily like “Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do”. Church is definitely new country, although the songs here work quite well, especially the pretty, radio-friendly “What I Almost Was” and the somewhat bombastic “Guys Like Me”. Perhaps the highlight here is the bouncy “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag” that has Merle Haggard making a guest appearance. Another keeper is “Two Pink Lines” that has a roots-pop Mellencamp feel to it.
- Multiple Songs Streaming Player
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.
// Sound Affects
"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.READ the article