With red dirt, pop, ballads, gospel and hot country all receiving attention, its easy to see that Jack Rowdy (an Oklahoma City band, not a man) has studied up.
Far from being a radio pastiche, Jack Rowdy infuses each of its tunes with enough muscle from the self-stated classic rock and 80s hair metal influences to set the act apart from the pack.
Not that this is outlaw country; Jack Rowdy doesnt stray far from timeworn themes of whiskey, women and regrets. But by often employing a rock-inspired, distorted-guitar tone (Hot Little Cowgirl excepted), it skips many of the clichés associated with modern country. The vocals also stand out for their clarity and agreeableness no whiny yelps here.
Highlights include the stellar lyrics and melody of pop song I Can Love You and up-tempo rocker Better Love Someday. And as hot country songs go, Hot Little Cowgirl aint no slouch, as it has a solid melody and doesnt insert any grandiose, overblown touches.
Jack Rowdys debut is still strongly a country album; those opposed to modern country as a whole need not apply. But those pining for some tunes with a little more power than Rascal Flatts or Toby Keith will find much to love.