Rodney Atkins' breakthrough album, "If You're Going Through Hell," produced the top singles of both 2006 and 2007. His moment in the spotlight was brief, with his follow-up album,"It's America," being largely ignored except for the title track.
From the get go on "Take a Back Road," Atkins comes across as a regular guy, not a detached superstar. There are songs about hanging out on back roads away from the hustle of daily life, getting fatherly advice from your dad and dealing with everyday marital strife. The songs betray the man singing them; this isn't another hard drinking, motorcycle driving outlaw that the Nashville machine churned out. These songs come from a genuine, decent father and husband who deals with the same things as his listeners every day. Family is a humorous look at a bittersweet family gathering, where he both loves and shakes his head in wonder at the diverse collection of people. On He's Mine, Atkins provides a teenage sequel to his hit Watchin' You, with a look at a troublesome boy through the filter of a proud father's eyes.
The songs are reminiscent of his previous work; straight forward modern country with his distinctive voice taking the lead. The only weakness is the consistency of the songs. Chances are good that if you like one, you will like them all, since there is not a lot of variety in sound, which is either a blessing or a curse depending upon your point of view.
These songs are about the happy side of family life in the country. Like Brad Paisley, Rodney Atkins is the type of wholesome country musician that you would enjoy hanging out with on a Sunday afternoon with your wife and kids. This is a solid release from a great country artist.