Everything is Fine
Josh Turner’s talent may not be very broad, but it sure as hell runs deep. From the start, the man has been the master of the traditional country music performance. With his third album, Everything is Fine, Turner solidifies his status as the premier traditionalist of the new generation of country music artists.
What’s most exciting about Turner, however, is his ability to make traditional country music without carbon-copying the music from the past. There is something current and vibrant about this entire record, and I couldn’t help but think of the Patty Loveless records from the mid-nineties, which I refer to as “progressive traditional country music.” It may seem like a contradictory term, but when I hear a song like “Firecracker”, which pulsates with a rock energy without even a hint of anything but country in its arrangement, it makes the staple country music sounds new again. When contrasted with the paint-by-numbers country-pop that populates country radio today, it’s refreshing to listen to.
All this would be academic if the material itself wasn’t so uniformly strong. The understated title track opens up the set, and establishes the tone for the entire record. This is a man who knows who he is and has nothing to prove, and it’s one track after another of well-performed compositions, tastefully arranged.
“The Longer the Wait (The Sweeter the Kiss)” is the best among them, a nautically-themed promise from a man who has gone on to the next world before his wife that he’ll be waiting for him. It makes a nice bookend to “Soulmate”, where a young lover is promising his future wife that he’ll wait at heaven’s gate for her, should he go first.
There’s a sly combination of celebration and contempt in “Trailerhood”, which slips in a few implicit criticisms of that lifestyle, while also finding some virtues in it. “Another Try” features harmony vocals by Trisha Yearwood, and the entire arrangement sounds like an homage to the style of his guest vocalist.
There’s also a deeply satisfying guest appearance from R&B staple Anthony Hamilton on “Nowhere Fast”, which could be the inner monologue of a guy who got on that “Long Black Train” that Turner warned about early on in his career. It’s a testament to Turner’s artistry that both of these artists are able to appear on his album without overshadowing him or compromising the integrity of his record. He remains the dominant voice, even when matched with more established talent.
Everything is Fine is a confident, entertaining record by an artist coming fully into his own. Without a weak track in the bunch, Turner has delivered a solid traditional country album that could stand proudly among the better albums by Randy Travis and John Anderson, two clear influences on Turner’s style. In a year chock full of career-defining albums, Turner’s just might be the best by a male artist.
Buy: Everything is Fine
I’ve been a fan of Josh Turner sense I first heard Long Black Train on the radio. However many these days would consider Brad paisley the premier traditionalist of the age…I disagree. Josh is by far one of country musics best right now. Although I can only take so much of the traditional stuff at a time, this album has kept me hooked sense I bought it the day it was released. However its not perfected yet so I agree with the four stars, but for an album these days Josh has compiled an excellent collection with no real fill ins or anything. Every one of these songs is radio worthy and #1 worthy. I love it!!!!
I have to say, I was not a huge fan of Josh’s last CD. I loved a couple of the singles on the last one, but this CD is fantasitc from start to finish (I could do without Trailerhood, but its not awful). To me the standout track is the duet with Trisha. AMAZING. I’ve heard rumblings that this is the next single, and I couldn’t be happier.
I ran out and bought this cD on its release date, but I actually thought his last CD was better. Maybe I have to listen to this one more, but I thought it was kind of boring. I love his voice and will keep trying it though. The other CD just hooked me a lot sooner.
This is a great album, modern yet traditional closer to five stars than four. I trust Josh Turner will be part of the scene long after many of today’s stars are forgotten
I just can’t seem to get into Josh Turner for some reason! I just don’t like his deep voice…..never have cared for that deep of a voice. I’m more into tenors. Can’t stand “Firecracker”!
good ole country and I love it!
not all the songs are winners for me, but quite a few from josh turner make it on my regular ipod playlist (not just this album)
Love Josh Turner! His voice is AMAZING! How could one not love that deep, sexy voice! His songs just make me wanna get up and do something! Love this website too BTW! Thanks for all your amazing posts! Joy