Blake Shelton Must Be Exhausted

Bringing Back the Sunshine Brings Back All-Night-Long Songs

With CMT.com offering an exclusive stream of Blake Shelton’s new Bringing Back the Sunshine , this seems like typical to-do list for Blake Shelton’s nighttime routine:

He’s going to be workin’ on the big buzz, and it’ll probably take all night.

The only thing he wants to do tonight is drink her like Spanish wine.

And to hold her until the heartbreak’s gone.

The way he spent those endless nights is the way he could spend forever.

He might go on and make it a double.

He’s digging on hittin’ on her tonight, all night long.

And along with the people of the midnight hour, the all-night owls and neon lighters, he will still be out when the lightweight crowd goes home.

Those are some of the paraphrased lyrics from Shelton’s new album. And doesn’t that all sound exhausting? I mean, when does this man get any rest?

That’s the impression I get after listening to Bringing Back the Sunshine , set for release Tuesday (Sept. 30). In song after song, Shelton is staying up late, night after night, raising some kind of hell. And he’s so convincing, I get caught up in the music and actually believe that this is how he’s living his life.

From the first title track to the last track called, ironically, “Just Gettin’ Started,” Shelton sounds like he always has — country with a side dish of soul. This new album doesn’t stray too far from his past seven studio albums. Musically, it’s pretty classic Shelton. But lyrically, the songs paint a picture that he might never go home.

With a few exceptions.

“Good Country Song” is all about getting schooled on George and Keith and Vern and Alabama. A good country song makes you smile, makes you hurt and leaves you hangin’ on every word. Just like this one does.

“A Girl,” which is not at all about the girl typified in most radio hits these days. It’s more of a how-to guide on making one fall in love with you once you’ve fallen in love with her.

“Anyone Else,” which I’m subtitling “Narcissist Song.” Because while so many country songs celebrate all the good in a woman, we’re not all perfect.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.
@alisonbonaguro