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Easton Corbin

All Over The Road – 2012 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin jumped on to the country music scene two years ago with a self-titled album and a fun, easy-going single, titled I'm A Little More Country Than That. The Florida native's staying power or lack there of will be determined by his 11-song sophomore album, "All Over The Road."

Corbin makes a strong case with this album that combines strong ballads and impressive mid-tempo songs. The songs are well-written as Corbin enlisted the services of accomplished songwriters such as Carson Chamberlain, Bob DiPiero, Ashley Gorley and Tommy Lee James among others. The artist co-wrote two of the songs, A Thing For You, which is one of the best tracks, and the uptempo, This Looks A Lot Like Love.

Corbin's strengths are his leanings toward neo-traditional country and his telegenic appearance, while his detractors say that he sounds too much like George Strait. But that could also work in his favor, and it certainly does on ballads such as Dance Real Slow, Are You With Me and I Think Of You.

Both the first single, Lovin' You Is Fun and Tulsa, Texas show off Corbin's fun side. The first single was simply a splash at country radio, and the latter is a ballad with a fun, yet sarcastic tone in the tradition of Strait's Ocean Front Property. In it, Corbin names different cities along with states in which they're not located.

Only A Girl has that sarcasm too, but it's not as funny, considering it's about a man getting over a relationship and convincing himself that there's plenty of fish in the sea. But you can tell by his tone that he doesn't fully believe what he's telling himself. The song, interestingly enough, is very similar melodically to I'm A Little More Country Than That. On the mid-tempo, Hearts Drawn In The Sand, another highlight of the album, Corbin drops a reference to the St. John's Pier in his native northern Florida as he sings about a summer romance.