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Album Spotlight: Billy Currington, ‘We Are Tonight’

We Are Tonight
Mercury Nashville

Billy Currington adds a pinch of rock, two tablespoons of R&B and a heavy dose of soul to his new ‘We Are Tonight’ album. The result is a project that tastes different, but remains true to a sound he’s cultivated over the last decade.

Currington is the king of carefree. “Feel-good” is an adjective you could hang on just about every one of the 10 songs that make up this collection. There’s a mix of influences and tempos, and the singer showcases a range of vocal styles. Lyrically, he finds the space between corny and cool that he’s made a living in. ‘Wingman’ is one example:

You was supposed to be my wingman / Wasn’t that the game plan / You take the grenade and I take the fox / Supposed to talk me up bro / No matter what so / Don’t go telling me you must have forgot,” he sings.

Willie Nelson joins Currington to lament about how difficult their shared lifestyle is to keep up on ‘Hard to Be a Hippie,’ the album’s most traditional cut. The tongue-in-cheek performance follows the pop-rock influenced ‘We Are Tonight.’

Few artists have carved out a niche and settled down in it quite like Currington has after releasing ‘I Got a Feelin” in 2004. He continues to find clever ways to describe the life of a country boy on the beach and — so far — no two singles have sounded the same.

Tracks to Remember: ‘We Are Tonight,’ ‘Hard to Be a Hippie,’ ‘Hallelujah’

Two Shy Guys: The notoriously media-shy Currington is good friends with hip-hop producer-turned-country songwriter Shy Carter. Carter helped write Sugarland‘s ‘Stuck Like Glue,’ and (not surprisingly) is responsible for the breakdown in ‘Banana Pancakes,’ a Jack Johnson cover. He also beat-boxes and provided the computer box percussion heard on ‘Hallelujah,’ a song he wrote with the Warren Brothers.

On the Bus With Willie: That’s where Currington found himself before asking if Nelson would cut ‘Hard to Be a Hippie’ with him. Scotty Emerick wrote it and told Currington that the legend was going to record it. So the two struck a compromise. If anything else happened on that bus, he ain’t saying.

Did You Know?: Of his five albums, this is the first on which Currington didn’t write any of the songs.

Next: See the Best Albums of 2013 So Far

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