Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
Trace Adkins' profile has been rising with a series of hits and commercially successful albums. One aspect remaining intact here is Adkins' strong baritone. It's a supple instrument that is as comfortable on the harder edged country ("The Stubborn One") as they are on ballads ("Words Get in the Way") and soulful songs ("I Came Here to Live," a nice most heartfelt change of pace of a rowdy hellraiser getting spiritual and "Ain't No Woman Like You").
"Ladies Love Country Boys" is cute about the well-trodden theme of the uptown northerner falling for the country boy.
Where Adkins doesn't quite succeed is in some song selection where the lyrics really fall flat. The single "Swing," connected with Major League Baseball, has the big line of "Swing batter batter swing" repeated a lot in a song relating swinging and scoring. "Southern Hallelujah" also is lyrically clunky with horns tagged on to give a soulful bent. And then there is the closing and final 13th song, "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk (Video Mix)." While the song was a big hit, once was more than enough for the novelty song. "Ride" showcases Adkins rocking, but less guitars would have resulted in a lot more.
Adkins doesn't make any giant leap here. Adkins makes enough contact, maybe a double.