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Album reviews
Artist:
Blake Shelton
Album:
If I'm Honest
Release year:
2016
Label:
Warner Bros.
11 July 2016 / by Marlo Libfeld (author)

Blake Shelton’s 10th studio album, If Im Honest, released on May 20, 2016, features artists such as, The Oak Ridge Boys and Gwen Stefani. The producer, Scott Hendricks, delivers with vigorous attention to detail. Hendricks’ arrangement allows clear and crisp vocals to cut through instrumentation with ease like a hot knife through butter. The American country music singer released three slow tempo ballad singles from If Im Honest. The three singles, “Came Here to Forget,” “Savior’s Shadow,” and “She’s Got a Way With Words,” gives country music fans a taste of the life of a true country superstar, allowing listeners to silently read Shelton's diary, receiving a glimpse into his life behind closed doors. Shelton’s hardships and intimate details are on display and can be herd in his latest studio album, even if he only co-wrote the second single, “Savior’s Shadow,” and two other songs on the album. 

Shelton sings “Came Here to Forget” about a breakup and the start of a rebound relationship. With the lyrics, “…looks like its just me and you, fall in love just enough to get us through what were getting through,and flirtatious lines, “…keep playing them songs, keep singing along, keep leaning it on in closer,Shelton tells the sorrowful story of mending a broken heart with a sultry demeanour. “Came Here to Forget” debuted at No. 1 on the Country Digital Songs chart, and charted No. 6 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The success of the slow country ballad, “Came Here to Forget,” caught the ears of many who followed the tumultuous divorce of Blake Shelton and his ex-wife, Miranda Lambert.

Many Blake Shelton fans rejoiced when pop vocalist and vocal coach, Gwen Stefani, found love with Shelton on the reality TV show The Voice. But, Shelton’s duet with his new sweetheart and co-writer falls flat. The vocalists and lyricists do not find harmony together in “Go Ahead and Break My Heart.” The song lacks emotional depth and impassioned excitement. Scott Hendricks delivers a smooth and refined country rock instrumentation reminiscent of Allen Collins’ unapologetically wailing southern rock guitar. Unfortunately, the guitar solos manage to grab and hold the listeners attention more than the main act. Shelton popularizes country music with pop musician Gwen Stefani’s artistic touch on his latest album. Even if “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” does not strike the right chord with listeners, Shelton is bringing storytelling back to popular music, and that is where pop must return.

 

The author

Marlo Libfeld

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