Haywire [Deluxe Edition]

by: Josh Turner

Josh Turner’s fourth album, Haywire, has the unusual distinction of its first two singles being the first pair on an album. There’s the modern-day honky tonk of “Why Don’t We Just Dance?” and the faux-sensitive ballad of “I Wouldn’t Be a Man.” Producer Frank Rogers wanted to make a more organic-sounding record than 2007’s Justin Niebank-helmed Everything Is Fine, and he accomplished that. This doesn’t mean "traditional" in any sense, though. Haywire is thoroughly a contemporary country record, but is reined in with more acoustic instrumentation, less compression, and more natural-sounding vocals placed properly in the the mix. On "Lovin’ You on My Mind,” credit is due for trying something very different: The song is an attempt at a fusion of country, adult contemporary pop, and soul, complete with strings, a Rhodes piano, and a female backing chorus. It feels sincere, and with its layered arrangement, it works well. Turner’ s “Eye Candy” weaves rockabilly, country boogie, and honky tonk, and would be a good choice for a future single. The set closes with the CCM gospel of “The Answer,” sung with sincerity and purpose. With Haywire, Turner gets points for good intentions by trying to take some of the slickness off the contemporary country sound. ~ Thom Jurek

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