Randy Rogers Band


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Randy Rogers takes pains to bill his albums as the work of a collective, having each of his records since the very beginning credited to the Randy Rogers Band. As time passes, the records the RRB makes don't quite so much sound like the product of a touring band but rather a savvy collection of studio pros, and 2013's Trouble is no exception. Their first album in three years -- the last was 2010's Burning the Day, their highest-charting album to date, producing their biggest single to date, "One More Sad Song" -- Trouble is easy and assured, versatile enough to appeal to many different audiences but too diverse to create a cohesive identity. This isn't entirely a bad thing, because as a collection of individual tracks it's pretty appealing, sometimes verging on the compelling. They're muscular enough to dip into a hazy country-psychedelia on the hangover anthem "Fuzzy"; they kick up a little backwoods dirt on "Shotgun," tap into a bit of country sweetness on "Flash Flood," and lumber along with fiddle and a ramshackle guitar on "If I Had Another Heart," but most of the time they dedicate themselves to clean, propulsive country-pop, comprised of guitars that could fill an arena and melodies made for morning radio. Randy Rogers Bands are indeed pros, pulling off these switches in tone and style without a hitch, but Trouble is just a shade too slick: all that proficiency comes at the expense of personality, which means Trouble is the kind of album that's better heard in segments, either on the radio or on shuffle, than it is as a whole, as that makes it easier to appreciate the individual merits of the band and not fret about what's absent.

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