Any artist that aspires to the Yankovic-ian brand of success known as the song parodist wants to be graded on a special curve. They might even deserve it. Cledus T. Judd (born Barry Poole) has taken his lumps in the fame machine, working across multiple labels and moonlighting as a DJ. But we can't overlook the funny, and Judd has done that very thing himself this time.
Focusing half the record, mystifyingly, on the downturn of the economy, Judd makes a bid for credibility or desperation. The first single, Waitin' On Obama, reworks Brad Paisley's Waitin' On a Woman as a mostly-earnest look ahead. How is it expected to play well with a red state fan base or folks who simply want lots of laughs? Along with the mild turn to seriousness, repetition haunts the record - the price of gas gets be moaned, often. And if the silly Christmas song stands as the last refuge of the musical comedian, the fact we get two is surely not a good sign we're on fertile ground.
At his best, Judd can make you smile before you've heard a note (remember Did I Shave My Back For This?). He also stays firm to PG-rated material. So the best songs here show a little pull against the restraints, and have nothing other than fun intended. If I Had Kellie Pickler's... is devoted to particular assets of the well-endowed singer. It also effectively uses every double-entendre in the playground cut-up's bag of tricks. Another funny below-the-belt romp is Cooter, a surface homage to the loyal mechanic friend from the Dukes of Hazzard. Maybe it's time for Judd to do a blue record, or at the very least, wait until there's dizzier headlines out there for inspiration.