For almost 30 years there has been one voice that has remained a constant on the country music charts and that man’s name is George Strait. He’s long passed the ‘age celing’ that is often the 50 year old mark and while he shows no signs of slowing down his commercial country music output, there is now another voice to take over ‘go –to –guy” status and that guy is not Brad Paisley or Blake Shelton or even Jason Aldean. It’s Easton Corbin. Not only does the newcomer have a similar vocal instrument as King George but he has an eerily similar ear for what does or doesn’t work for his vocal ability. On top of that, many of the songs on this self-titled debut album sure sound like radio hits to my ears.
The record kicks off with the Strait-like “Roll With It” and if you read the credits of the album you’ll find some familiar Strait favorites in co-writers David Lee, Johnny Park and Tony Lane. The song has ‘go-with-the-flow’ spirit that is easy to sing-a-long to. By the second time the chorus comes along, you will actually be singing along to the track. It’s just that kind of song. The lead single and current Top 10 hit, “A Little More Country Than That” finds Easton Corbin running down the many ways he’s more country than other things. While list songs and ‘I’m country” songs seemingly have been done to death as of late, somehow this single not only rings true to me as a listener but it’s one of the best singles currently on country radio and could very well give Easton Corbin a chart-topping single outta the chute.
Easton co-wrote four tracks on the album and of the four “The Way Love Looks” and “Leavin’ Lonely Town” stand out the most. While both songs don’t feel like outright Strait songs like the first two songs I mentioned do, both of these feel like singles nonetheless. “The Way Love Looks,” which could have been a Blaine Larsen or Joe Nichols track as well, is the strongest of this pair and could very well be the second single from Easton Corbin. It’s a charming little track, co-written with Easton’s producer Carson Chamberlain and Mark D. Sanders, it is a charming little track (clocking at sub 3 minutes) that finds Easton singing about the way a woman shines in everything she does around him. It’s a real, honest song about a real, honest life.
“I Can’t Love You Back” sure does feel like it’s ready for prime-time country airwaves with soft, tender verses with slightly soaring choruses landing Easton Corbin back in the neo-traditionalist groove. “A Lot To Learn About Livin’” finds Easton Corbin in the Chesney/Buffett/Strait groove with a beach-y song about the way life changes when the pressures of the daily world are gone and all you have to do is think about enjoying life.
There’s a lot to enjoy about Easton Corbin’s music, from the neo-traditionalist style to the charming voice and delivery to his familiar sound. With his self-titled debut album Easton Corbin may just have given his record label, Mercury Records, the ‘next George Strait,’ which would answer the question “Who’s gonna fill their shoes” for the neo-traditionalist slot.