Over the course of seven albums, Trace Adkins mined a musical territory between new traditionalism and contemporary commercial country. 2006's Dangerous Man finds him leaning toward the latter part of that equation, with no loss of his down-home, 10-gallon bite. The album's lead-off single, "Swing," is a case in point. Fueled by boogie rock electric guitar, a thumping backbeat, and singalong choruses, the tune is glossy and anthemic, owing more to Lynyrd Skynyrd than to Hank Williams. When not flexing his rock muscles, Adkins shows his skill with emotive, midtempo balladry ("Words Get in the Way") designed to fit seamlessly on MTV playlists. But where Adkins' music leaves tradition behind for the mainstream, its country heart beats in the right place: baseball, patriotism, and good-ol'-boy pastimes like drinking, driving, and loving are the themes on hand. Adkins also has a way with an infectious hook, and he carries these beautifully with his resonant baritone. Fans of Adkins, and of contemporary country in general, won't be disappointed with Dangerous Man.
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