Bo Bice

3

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Bo Bice re-rooted himself with 2007’s The Real Thing, returning to the soulful Southern rock that was his stock in trade on American Idol. He pivots from that foundation on 2010’s self-produced 3, keeping his feet planted in belting blues-rock but often leaning toward country, hitting the twang for every one of the ballads -- getting his best results on the nicely rolling “Wild Roses” -- going so far as hauling out mandolins to drive “Good Hearted Woman.” Bice never has seemed as country as he does here, and it suits him better than the ham-fisted blues-funk he unfortunately accentuates elsewhere, reaching a nadir on the flat-footed “Who Knows What” and “Get on and Ride.” Whenever he attempts to work up a head of steam, Bice stumbles; he’s so relaxed and comfortable in his own skin that he’s best in well-worn surroundings, whether it’s the country ballads or blues workouts that constitute the bulk of 3.

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