Trace Adkins' debut, Dreamin' Out Loud, illustrates that he does indeed have a powerhouse voice, one that's big and strong and capable of handling both honky tonk and ballads. It's a voice that makes singers into stars, and his producers must have realized this. Unfortunately, they wanted to ensure that Adkins became a star, so they gave Dreamin' Out Loud a production that's a little too clean and songs that are a little too predictable, when it's clear that he is capable of so much more. Even so, Dreamin' Out Loud remains a satisfying debut. Adkins sings his heart out on even the lesser songs, and when he does have a good number ("That's a Bad Way of Saying Goodbye," "There's a Girl in Texas"), he sounds like one of the finest new traditionalists of the late '90s.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Owens