By Bill Friskics-Warren
Despite charting a handful of No. 1 country singles since 2005 -- and being something of a heartthrob among his female fans -- Billy Currington remains on the verge of a big career breakthrough. Whether his wonderfully understated new album accomplishes this or not, the Georgia native can pride himself on having made a record with the sort of warmth and intimacy that gives the work of neo-traditionalist elders such as George Strait and Alan Jackson such staying power.
A terrific vehicle for Currington's fireside baritone, "Love Done Gone" is a no-regrets breakup song buoyed by a lush melody and rolling groove. "Perfect Day," a lilting ballad, ruminates wistfully on the meaning of life and love. Even the album's first single, a winking novelty, goes down easy, thanks to a gorgeous descending chord progression and some gliding steel guitar.
"All Day Long" and "Let Me Down Easy" are melodic country-soul, the latter reminiscent of Gregg Allman's better solo work, and "Bad Day of Fishin' " recalls the Dobro-laced country-blues of Merle Haggard's Jimmie Rodgers tribute. "Lil' Ol' Lonesome Dixie Town," an otherwise stock paean to rural Southern life, is spirited roadhouse rock.
The only real misstep is "Like My Dog," a lighthearted romp that finds Currington wishing that his sweetheart was as blindly loyal to him as his dog. That is, that she'd let him off the hook for the inconsiderate likes of forgetting to put down the toilet seat or not bothering to call when he stays out all night drinking.
Recommended tracks: "Love Done Gone," "Bad Day of Fishin'," "Let Me Down Easy"