Dustin Lynch

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Tullahoma Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Dustin Lynch trusts a time-honored country instinct on Tullahoma: He names the album after his hometown. The idea is to convey that this record, his fourth, is a bit more of a personal affair for the country singer, which is perhaps a good move because he's seemed a little malleable on his previous albums. He didn't find a comfortable groove until 2017's Current Mood, where he fashioned himself into a considerably friendlier Jason Aldean, an aesthetic that provides a template for Tullahoma. Throughout this short, breezy affair, Lynch glides along country/R&B rhythms that percolate without threatening to break into funkiness. The emphasis is entirely on melody and feel, a combination that seems amiable and easy; even on the sad songs (and there aren't too many of those), Lynch seems to be singing with a smile. The unrepentant cheerfulness suits a set of songs so heavily polished they gleam, and so anodyne it's hard to tell whether Lynch is singing about his little town, an old country song, or his good girl. Some could call this tonal consistency, but the adherence to the middle of the road makes Tullahoma not much more than finely crafted background music.

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