BOTTOM LINE The country superstar burnishes his down-home image.
Blake Shelton has won the hearts of millions of viewers on “The Voice,” as well as fellow coach Gwen Stefani, with his rough-around-the-edges country charm.
That charm is on full display on his new “Texoma Shore” (Warner Music Nashville) album, a departure from last year’s more introspective “If I’m Honest,” which became 2016’s top-selling country album.
The lead single “I’ll Name the Dogs” shows Shelton at the peak of his powers, as he delivers an endearing tale of building a life together through division of labor: “You name the babies, I’ll name the dogs.”
He continues this likable vein with “At the House,” where he outlines a dream staycation over a glossy country backdrop.
But there is a limit to how far Shelton can stretch his likability, and “Money,” where he tries his hand at rapping, is it — no matter how soothing he tries to make the chorus.
It’s a mess, but it’s also a sign of how confident he is in his career.
Only Shelton would try to go from “Money” to a throwback Ronnie Milsap-like ballad like “Turning Me On,” the only song on “Texoma Shore” that he co-wrote. And somehow, he makes it work.