Billy Currington

We Are Tonight

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Listening to We Are Tonight, the fifth album by Billy Currington, you'd never guess the country singer was arrested for making terrorist threats against a 70-year-old tour boat captain earlier in 2013. Based on this album, Currington doesn't have a nasty bone in his body: he's a chillaxed bro, mildly irritated that his wingman stole his girl but not irked enough to leave the sports bar. He's an affable dude, happy to sing to those who will have him, perfectly OK if you're not riding his wave. There is certainly a mellow beach vibe to portions of We Are Tonight and, generally, Currington is happy to play up faded memories of parties past, particularly when he ropes in Willie Nelson to commiserate on how it's "Hard to Be a Hippie" nowadays. As much as he longs for long hair and beards, Currington isn't an earthy guy. He's a suburban dude, so he feels right when he's half-heartedly summoning long-haired ghosts or attempting to conjure the memory of Jimmy Buffett or perhaps Jack Johnson, whose "Banana Pancakes" is covered toward the end of this album. The surfer vibe suits Currington, who has always seemed ready for some relaxed good times, but he's not a creature of the beach, he's the kind of guy who'd be the ideal company for downing a round or two at the local sports bar, and We Are Tonight suits that setting better than the beach. This is suburban music through and through, with its best moments either recalling yacht-country gone past (the excellent "Closer Tonight," which would've been a massive hit in 1980) or kind, sculpted arena-country that makes six-string purists blanch. Currington isn't a traditionalist, he lives in the ever-present new millennium, and what's good about his music and We Are Tonight in particular is that none of his moves feel self-conscious; he's just a laid-back dude enjoying singing good tunes for good times with good friends. It doesn't matter if is real life persona might not jibe with what's on record, because what's on record is what counts and We Are Tonight is guaranteed to create some nice mellow vibes.

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