Album Review: Billy Currington – Enjoy Yourself

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There are only a handful of country singers who have matched Billy Currington’s chart consistency over the past decade. Since his debut song “Walk A Little Straighter” was released in 2003, eight of Currington’s 10 singles have made it into the Top 10 on Billboard’s country chart.

Need an artist to compare that accomplishment to? How about none other than country’s current darling Blake Shelton, who also has eight Top 10s during that period.

Consistent is an apt description of Currington’s fourth album, titled Enjoy Yourself. Currington, whose current hit declares that he’s “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” is also pretty good at delivering an easygoing groove. His relaxed delivery on songs like “Perfect Day” and “Enjoy Yourself” positions him as one of country’s most likable and most accessible singers, while his penchant for wry, sometimes self-depreciating humor often gives his music an ever so slight hint of edginess.

Enjoy Yourself finds Currington tapping in to more of that humor than ever before, and as such the album hits a mark just a hair left of the center. Certainly, this effort isn’t so adventurous that he’ll be seen as Nashville’s newest bad boy, but the slightly more liberal tact he takes here pays dividends.

On both “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer” and “Like My Dog,” he half-jokingly wears the hat of hillbilly slacker: “He never says I wish you made more money/He always thinks that pull my finger’s funny,” he sings on the latter, which paints an equally funny and poignant portrait of a deliciously dysfunctional relationship. When Currington declares, matter-of-factly, “He don’t get mad at me and throw a major fit/When I say his sister is a bitch,” it’s one of the year’s most unexpected—and most refreshing moments.

Produced by Carson Chamberlain (band leader and steel guitar player for Keith Whitley), the record also takes a few musical twists and turns. The title track boasts some of Chamberlain’s signature steel licks (though played by Paul Franklin), and sounds a bit like a throwback to mid-80s George Strait, while “Love Done Gone” features a wicked cool horn section that augments and underscores the song’s hook.

In the infamous Shania Twain duet “Party For Two,” Currington sang about “looking sexy in your socks.” While Enjoy Yourself is unlikely to knock your socks off—nothing here really stands out as especially memorable or resonant—there’s plenty here that’s sexy, thanks to Currington’s smooth-but-salty Georgia drawl and a demonstrated willingness to buck some of the format’s sonic norms.

As such, it’s a record that’s more than the sum of its parts. And, while it lacks much in the way of blockbuster material, Currington infuses these average and above songs with charisma and even, at times, a bit of charm.

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