License to Chill – Jimmy Buffett
While Jimmy Buffett may be best known for his laid-back, Caribbean-flavored music, this boy’s got a lot of country in him. You can’t help but get that when you grow up listening to Hank Williams Sr. along the Alabama-Mississippi Gulf Coast. License to Chill is full of guest stars from Nashville (where Jimmy’s songwriting career began), as the singer gets back to a whole lot of country on this Mac McAnally-produced CD.
Country’s current superstars (George Strait, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Clint Black and Kenny Chesney) join him on “Hey, Good Lookin’.” The old Hank Sr. hit “Boats to Build” (featuring Alan Jackson) is a dynamic song, and Jimmy’s rockin’ on the classic “Sea of Heartbreak,” along with Strait. “I’ve had all these country songs in my heart for a while, so now that the spotlight is on them all of a sudden, I’m going to have fun with it,” Buffett says. You too can have fun with the 39th Jimmy Buffett album. A
Revelation – Joe Nichols
Mr. “Brokenheartsville” is back with his second major-label CD. Following two No. 1 hits, a gold album (Man With a Memory) and several new artist awards, Joe’s back to the basics with this 2004 effort.
The album-opening track “The Shade” is classic. “Don’t Ruin it for the Rest of Us” and “What’s a Guy Gotta Do” will put you in the honky-tonk frame of mind. The Rogers, Ark., native does a wonderful job covering classic country singer Gene Watson’s “Farewell Party.” Yes, this boy’s quite a looker for the ladies, but the 11 tracks of Revelation reveal Joe Nichols is more than just a pretty face. B+
Have Your Loved Ones Spayed or Neutered – Jeff Foxworthy
This guy is so danged funny, and it just comes natural. Heck, he’s just sharing funny, true stories from within his own family and the stories people come up to him and tell. “It has gotten to the point in life, people tell me stuff that they shouldn’t tell their therapist,” Foxworthy says, laughing.
This latest comedy album, his fifth album of new material, may be his last, according to the liner notes. That hasn’t stopped the 46-year-old comedian from churning out some great material. Remember the Cialis ad from the Super Bowl? Only Foxworthy would comment that if he were in the hospital, he would make sure to wear the robe backwards and walk around. Larry the Cable Guy makes a few cameos in the CD. One big negative – some of the material can already be seen on Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Other than that, this is a fun way to hit the road. B-
Where I Belong – Rachel Proctor
Newcomer Rachel Proctor has been working Music Row in Nashville for a decade, pitching songs and seeking that big-label deal. Patience is a virtue. The writer of Martina McBride’s hit “Where Would You Be” inked her record contract with BNA two years ago, and her debut is now taking shape.
Where I Belong contains six songs co-written by Proctor, including the album’s first two radio singles, “Days Like This” and “Me and Emily.” The latter turned into a radio hit, offering a message of hope to a young mother in an abusive relationship. “We Did it Our Way” is a fun, upbeat song perfect for Fridays, while “Shame on Me” echoes cool classic-flavored country. A-