Texan Charlie Robison built up quite a following in his native state and around the country with his first two Americana-bleached albums. Robison's balls-out, hardcore troubadour image and music were as real as the scuffs on his boots. As his career was gaining steam, the singer/songwriter married Emily Erwin of the Dixie Chicks. Robison released two studio albums while married to Erwin, 2001's Step Right Up and 2004's Good Times, but his music took a backseat (in the media at least) to his marriage. After Good Times, Robison vanished for nearly five years before resurfacing in 2009 with Beautiful Day, a ten-song collection that was written and recorded during his divorce from Erwin. The singer's marital split clearly influenced the songwriting and song selection for Beautiful Day. Robison channels the ghost of heartache on tracks like the saturnine "Down Again" and the equally melancholic "Reconsider." The latter, a jingle-jangle country number with whimpering steel guitar and rippling organ, is a pain-soaked tune that cuts to the core of loneliness. "Yellow Blues" borrows the backbone from Steve Earle's "I Feel Alright," and marries it to a pointed set of lyrics. "Promises are overrated/vows have just become outdated, ain't it true," Robison sings. It's not all black clouds and thunder on Beautiful Day. "Feelin' Good" is a ray of Americana sunshine. Robison bangs out a folky rhythm on his acoustic guitar as mandolin and accordion punctuate the cheery melody and lyrics. Other than a pedestrian cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Racing in the Street,," Beautiful Day is a solid effort from one of Americana's most underappreciated singer/songwriters.
AllMusic Review by Todd Sterling