Aaron Lewis

Sinner

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AllMusic Review by

First time around, Aaron Lewis' move to country seemed tentative -- as much a rebranding as a musical statement. Even if the record was awkward, The Road was a modest success, opening the door for Lewis to make a stronger move on his next country album -- which is precisely what he does on 2016's Sinner, a record that is considerably better than its predecessor. Much of the success has to be placed at the feet of producer Buddy Cannon, who gives the album a sleek, steely modern-day outlaw vibe, one that straightens out and beefs up Chris Stapleton's revivalism. Stapleton's "Whiskey and You" is here, one of several strong neo-traditional songs that help Lewis' unreconstituted power ballads seem somewhat graceful. As nimble as Cannon's production is, Lewis remains a heavy-footed singer; if he's not overselling his message, he sounds drowsy. Nevertheless, Sinner goes down easy thanks to Cannon's production, which is proof that he's one of the best producers currently working in Nashville.

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