Rockin' You Tonight

Blaine Larsen

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Rockin' You Tonight Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Excellent though it may have been, Blaine Larsen's 2005 major-label debut, Off to Join the World, didn't sell in the numbers it deserved, so when it came time for Larsen to record a second album, he got a slight makeover to make his surprisingly authentic classic country a little more modern -- something that would appeal if not to fans also in their teens, at least to those adults who regularly buy country albums. As such, Rockin' You Tonight has a bit more Nashville polish on it, from its production to the song selection, a move that's understandable even if it may be slightly dismaying to fans of the sturdy neo-traditionalism of the debut. That said, Larsen isn't merely a preternaturally gifted country singer/songwriter, he's also enough of a pro to be able to roll through these changes without losing his identity; he makes the concessions to Nashville not seem like concessions. Plus, to the extent that these concessions are noticeable, it's only in comparison: on Off to Join the World there were none, so the few that are here stand out all the more. Remove this handful of songs and Rockin' You Tonight is as purely country as its predecessor, and just as impressive.

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