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Chris Young

Losing Sleep – 2017 (RCA)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Chris Young

Chris Young has one of the best country voices, and it's always a pleasure to hear him sing. But it's disappointing when the title cut sounds more like the groove to a Justin Bieber song than anything truly country. When, say, someone like Jason Aldean performs music with barely any resemblance to real country music, it's not that big a deal; he's not a great natural singer to begin with. However, Young's voice is just too good to waste on mere pop.

The ballad "Where I Go When I Drink" is more like it. Rather than try and pop-i-fy the backing track, Young sings over little more than a piano, and it's a beautiful thing. "Holiday" is a little like one of those laidback Chris Janson throwaways, only sung so much better. The album ends with "Blacked Out," a bleak breakup song that gives Young a lyric he can really dig his teeth into.

Too many times, though, Young's songs play to the lowest common denominator. With a voice as good as his, why are so many of his songs little more than extended pick-up lines? Is it because he's tailored these songs toward a mainly female demographic? Women that want to imagine they're the objects of his passion? If so, it's not sure Hank done it that way.

Young sings great, even on this album's mostly average and predictable songs. It would have been so much better, though, had he sung better material. Somebody please connect this man with Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell.