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Michael Ray

Michael Ray – 2015 (Warner Nashville)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Michael Ray

The big single from Michael Ray's self-titled album, "Kiss You in the Morning," is one of the most annoying songs of the summer. It's an unbridled lust lyric that describes one man's pursuit of a girl in a country song. Ray is better on the driving song, "Drivin' All Night," though. Maybe it's the fact that Ray name-drops both Steve Earle and Tom Petty on it.

If only Ray's music were more like either Earle or Petty. The both of these men create short stories in song that grab your attention and ultimately your heart. In contrast, Ray's songs are much more generic. His characters are merely people in songs, rather than real people.

One other truly disappointing song is "Real Men Love Jesus." It's title suggests semi-spiritual lyric. Instead, loving Jesus is described as just one male trait among many. It also presents the kind of cultural Christianity so prevalent these days. Guys in this song love cold beer and picking up pretty girls, as much as they love Jesus.

Ray has a passable voice, but with a song like "Livin' It Up," which throws in one more party song to a genre that's already overloaded with party anthems, this album merely adds to the cluttered noise that is contemporary country music. Ray's the kind of guy that may kiss you in the morning, but you'll have forgotten about him by early afternoon.