First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2006, Volume 13, #12
Written by Kirk deCordova
Considering that he independently released his debut in 1995, Pat Green has been around for a long time. He paid his dues by performing on the college circuit, which included stints at his own school (Texas Tech), and he frequently has been tabbed as the support act for an array of regionally known and nationally known country artists. Through it all, Green has resisted the market forces that would like nothing better than to wrest creative control away from him. Although albums like Three Days (2001) and Wave on Wave (2003) have seen him slowly but surely climbing into the mainstream spotlight, itís on his latest effort Cannonball that he seems poised to stand alongside the leaders of the country music scene.
Make no mistake, Cannonball is a radio-friendly endeavor, though a healthy dose of rock ínĎ roll also has been thrown in for good measure. Even though blazing rhythm and lead guitars can be heard throughout the collection, Greenís powerfully twang-y vocals and his natural swagger combine with excellent production to keep the outing rooted squarely in the country camp. Having played with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and Dave Matthews, Green is no stranger to mingling with the luminaries of country and pop. However, in spite of his having rubbed shoulders with some of musicís heavyweight champions, he still knows how to deliver the goods by using his down-home charm to sing his songs about love and life in a small town.
Cannonball opens with a rush as the title track blasts off in a fury of
country-rock with lyrics that suitably resound:
"Hit me when I wasnít looking at all,
With love like a cannonball,
You tear down the walls,
With love like a cannonball."
The album continues in an upbeat fashion with Way Back Texas, which recounts a high school plan for marriage that never came to pass. The next three songs ó the straightforward Love Like That, the touching Dixie Lullaby, and the commercially viable Feels Like It Should ó all carry the listener back to small-town life, with all of its requisite passion and pain. Elsewhere, Green sings a duet with Sara Evans on Finderís Keepers; he revels in Radney Fosterís infectious Love Had Something to Say; and he concludes the outing with the soft, romantic Sleeping with the Lights On. Nevertheless, itís the melodic ballad Missing Me that serves as Cannonballís finest moment. Here, Green perfectly tells the story of a love that ends as a woman follows her dream of starting a career in the big city.
Indeed, Cannonball certainly hits its mark as Green mixes pure country delights with just enough rock ínĎ roll firepower to keep the whole thing sizzling. His stylistic perspective and unique vocals provide the final touches that turn the effort into a pleasant listening experience. Greenís fans undoubtedly will enjoy Cannonball, while newcomers will feel right at home with his comfortable delivery. For devotees of young country, this collection is a must.
Cannonball is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box