Tyler Farr

Redneck Crazy

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Tyler Farr may indeed be Redneck Crazy on his 2013 debut for Columbia Nashville, but his definition of redneck doesn't quite belong to the backwoods. Farr may not be a grinning, unrepentant bro the way that Luke Bryan and his ilk are, but he's not far removed, not with his arsenal of songs about beer, tiny bikinis, hot messes, and trucks, along with his preference for crisp, shiny beats that don't do a particularly good job of disguising their debt to hip-hop. Redneck Crazy is peppered with cornpone raps -- the chant-along statement of purpose "Chicks, Trucks and Beer" and its equal "Makes You Wanna Drink" -- and its sound belongs not to the sticks but the suburbs, where redneck is as much a fashion statement as it is a way of life. The big, bright bustle of Redneck Crazy is appealing in its unabashed pop aspirations -- it's so successful that the Jamey Johnson-aping guitar-and-voice closer "Living with the Blues" feels transported in from another album, possibly another era -- and that's partially due to Farr's everyday everyman voice. He puts on airs that he's dirty and greasy, and spends roughly half of the album singing about drinking, but he always sounds freshly showered and eminently respectable, the kind of guy who would address an officer of the law with a "yes sir." This inherent politeness does mean his rowdy redneck ways feel a bit like schtick, but it's a good act performed with enough cheer that Farr's slickness sells Redneck Crazy whenever the tunes drift toward the generic.

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