When he's not flipping his hair and doing push-ups, Jake Owen is busy smashing the boundaries between country and rock in ways not seen since the heyday of Eric Church and Montgomery Gentry, only he can't put together an album as beginning-to-end solid as those guys. So instead we have this lovely collection of hits plus filler ("Apple Pie Moonshine", I think it's called), sort of the sonic equivalent of watching Clear and Present Danger just so you can enjoy a few amazing scenes and let Henry Czerny's glower melt your schoolgirlish heart. Amazing songs here are the title single, "Wide Awake" (see below), "Alone With You" (sort of Eagles-y), and... why do I get the feeling I'm overrating this album? I dunno, but I'd be glad to play it any time, and it seems like something I'll be glad to put on a few years down the line, whereas the Pistol Annies' undoubtedly superior Hell On Heels already feels played out. I GET IT PISTOL ANNIES, YOU'RE SO GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO. Now let me hear "Wide Awake" again.
Barefoot Blue Jean Night