Lee Brice performed a rare feat in 2012: he became a star on the back of ballads, not party songs. Country has a long history of gentle, masculine crooners but the 2010s were rife with suburban dudes in tight jeans who sang slow songs only as a change of pace. Brice specialized in an assured delivery, taking such reflective songs as "Hard to Love" and "I Drive Your Truck" to the upper reaches of the country charts, and this success has led him to double down on deliberation on 2014's I Don't Dance. There is some volume to the record and a considerable amount of sly electronic textures -- this especially surfaces in the rhythms, which are sometimes looped, although there's some playful Auto-Tune; the three bonus tracks on the deluxe edition emphasize this side -- but the defining characteristic of I Don't Dance is how unhurried Brice seems, lending the same casual authority to the faster or grittier numbers ("No Better Than This," "Drinking Class," or "Girls in Bikinis," which is just plain silly) as he does on the ballads. This relaxed confidence is beguiling and also suits the songs, which Brice largely had a hand in composing (only three of the 13 songs don't bear a songwriting credit from him). Without the liner notes, it's hard to tell which songs come from Brice's pen and which don't, but that only signals how cohesive the album is. As skilled and commercially savvy a writer as he is -- and he is, that's his background -- he keeps the focus on his performance, letting the album come on smooth and strong. I Don't Dance may sink its teeth in slightly slowly, but that's Brice's style: he lets the listener come to him and, once they're there, he offers a warm seduction that lasts not just for a night but for a relationship.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine