Album Review: Josh Turner - “Deep South”

Josh Turner returns with long-awaited, well-crafted album of songs perfectly suited to his stylistic brand of country music.

It’s been five years since Josh Turner has released an album. An eternity in the music business for a mainstream artist, the wait has been to Josh’s benefit as his traditionally-aligned music wasn’t suited to the “bro” movement that came and went in that time period. Featuring eleven tracks, many written by Josh Turner himself, Deep South is the kind of record his longtime fans will love. It blends the traditional sounds of his past records and his rich, rustic baritone with some modern production flourishes that ensure he’s still a mainstream artist. The title track opens the album and is an ode to the region of the country the South Carolina native loves and lives in.

“Southern Drawl,” a song written by award-winning writers Gordie Sampson, Tom Douglas and Barry Dean, allows Josh to showcase his vocal dexterity while “Where The Girls Are” feels primed for contemporary country radio success, as does “Never Had A Reason,” a breezy piano-laced mid-tempo ballad about a man who finally has the want to after finding the one to share his life with. Often singing about positive relationships and family (he’s a devoted family man and husband), Josh takes a step in a different vein with “Wonder,” a song he wrote with Mark Namore while reflecting on a long-lost relationship. It’s interesting to hear Josh take on such a song. “All About You,” may be as close to ‘bro’ as Josh Turner got during that trend and when paired with the album’s Top 10 hit “Hometown Girl” and “Lay Low,” the oldest song on this record and one he had a moderate success with in 2014/2015.

Some fans may have been worried with titles like “Beach Bums” and “Hawaiian Girl” and “All About You” that the record would be "different" or "trend chasing" but it’s not. Deep South is very much a Josh Turner album as all of those songs certainly remain in his musical pocket (he did write them all himself, after all). Josh Turner may have spread his wings a bit on this project but by waiting out the ‘flavor of the moment’ sounds which came and gone, Josh Turner has delivered a fine album which should find him even more success out on the road, with streaming audiences, and on the radio dial.