Chris Young bears the potential burden of being winner of Nashville Star season four. That has worked for some in the competition - Miranda Lambert, who didn't even actually win - and not at all for others - Brad Cotter. On this year's edition, Young was the clear winner with a traditional sounding country bent.
But between winning and putting this out, Young seems to have lost the key ingredient of musical boldness. There are songs that hit the mark, particularly the very fine single, "Drinkin' Me Lonely," but no song comes close to rivaling that one. The lead off "Beer Or Gasoline" sounds generic. Ditto for the closing "Who's Gonna Take Me Home." And the instrumentation comes off the same way, uninspired.
Young's lively baritone comes through real well on "White Lightnin," "Center of My World" and the upbeat musically appealing "Your Way Jose," though it suffers from dumb lyrics about seeing Chichén Itzá and Dos Equis. In fact, it really cheapens the whole immigration issue about a rich gringo looking for the beaches of Mexico with a poor Mexican heading north.
Based on Nashville Star, expectations may have been too high for Young to come out of the box with a fresh sounding CD. Young sings well, and there are quality songs, but Young needs to do something a bit different to ensure that this year's Nashville Star will go the way of Lambert rather than Brad who?