For those who enjoy pure, old-fashioned country music, Josh Turner is a breath of fresh air. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Turner always delivers recordings that hearken back to country's former days before the infiltration of pop and soft rock somewhat compromised the genre's signature sound. However, despite his strong baritone voice and commitment to classic country, Turner's first two albums have been somewhat lackluster in song quality.
After the release of his breakout single, "Long Black Train," Turner released a second album, Your Man, which boasted two strong hits and several misses. Thus, with the release of his third album, Everything Is Fine, Turner had his work cut out for him to prove that country music can still remember its roots and do them justice.
Fortunately, Everything Is Fine does just that. Like most albums, it has its ups and downs, but the strong tracks are beautiful, heartfelt numbers that can be listened to over and over again.
The first single off the album, "Firecracker," lives up to its name. An upbeat tribute to a spicy love interest, "Firecracker" is fun and flirtatious, with lyrics such as, "We might not oughta take a roll in the hay 'cause we'll burn the barn down one of these days."
The next track, "Another Try," changes the mood completely and is possibly the strongest song on the CD. This duet with country superstar Trisha Yearwood laments the mistakes that led to loneliness and love lost and sounds beautifully similar to the classic country duets of decades past. Yearwood's vocals blend perfectly with Turner's, and every note of the song is proof of the true effort that went into arranging and producing such a thoughtful track.
Another highlight of the album is the catchy "So Not My Baby." Turner bemoans the all-too-common feeling of being in love alone to a great rhythm that will get fans' hips swaying in the same way his earlier single, "Your Man," did.
"The Longer the Waiting (The Sweeter the Kiss)" is a pledge of faithfulness from a sailor to his love that recalls country's roots but incorporates some creative touches, including a bagpipe solo.
The music is upbeat again with "One Woman Man," a cover of the original by the legendary George Jones. Turner does the song justice with his playful tone and firmly cements his status as a future great himself.
Everything Is Fine seems to be not only the album title but also a report on the status of Turner's rapidly rising career. Although not a perfect CD, it certainly delivers its fair share of ear-tingling, toe-tapping numbers, and fans of Turner's former records will love his continued growth as an artist. Everything Is Fine is a perfect listen for fans of new and old country music and assures old-school fans that artists like Turner will carry on the tradition of solid country music for years to come.