Shelton plans to expand with new album

Although Shelton has firmly established himself on The Voice, his touring days are not over; his next one begins in mid-July. / Photo Courtesy of Reprise Nashville

Blake Shelton’s newest album, released this past Tuesday, reflects the loveable personality that earned him recognition as the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year. His prominent role as a judge on NBC’s The Voice has offered Shelton the perfect platform to showcase his confident, mischievous and humorously frank disposition that is otherwise hidden behind his massive stature and notable southern drawl. Based on a True Story features realistic, relatable music that mirrors Blake’s boldness and wholly exposes his colorful character.

Bouncy rhythms and joyous lyrics blend perfectly with Blake’s deep, rich voice.

The album opens with the guitar-driven “Boys ‘Round Here,” about rural folks who play music in the back of pickup trucks. This tune encompasses the album’s focus on energetic, fast-paced country rock combined with passionate narratives and vivid vocals. Bouncy rhythms and joyous lyrics blend perfectly with Blake’s deep, rich voice. In the end, most all of the songs are light-hearted and made for feel-good atmospheres. As Blake discusses the crude ode to terrible bosses in “I Still Got A Finger,” he says, “It’s fun to sing about stuff like that. It makes you feel cocky. That’s a good feeling sometimes.”

A few of the songs pre-released as singles off of the album provide promise for plenty of coming success. “Sure Be Cool If You Did” shot to the top of the iTunes Country Charts and can be heard blasting through any popular country radio channel across the country. “Ten Times Crazier” was also available for purchase prior to the March 26 release date and has gained rave reviews thus far from country music lovers.

The meaning behind the lyrics becomes more poignant when realizing the truth present. In a recent press interview, Blake stated, “Every song on the album, I’ve either been through those situations, or I’m going through them right now. Songs like ‘Doin’ What She Likes’ or ‘Ten Times Crazier’ are where I’m at right now.” Although certain tracks—“Sure Be Cool If You Did,” most notably—have already gained distinction in representing the album, Shelton had bigger plans for the album title: “I always feel like a cop out when I name an album after one of the songs on it…So, I listened to it, and thought ‘This is my life — from start to finish.’ So, that’s what we’ll call it, we’ll say it’s based on a true story.”

The future for Blake is full of uncertainty but numerous possibilities.

The future for Blake is full of uncertainty but numerous possibilities. The latest season of The Voice premiered this week, featuring exciting additions of Usher and Shakira as judges. However, when asked about his future with the reality competition hit, he said, “I’ve got to get back to what I love most – which is performing live. That’s why I got into this business. But…The Voice has been what has led to me a lot of those type things, like the Christmas special or Reba’s show (Malibu Country). I can’t even think of all the things I’ve gotten to do because of that…I think it’s a phase, and once that chapter is over, it’s over.”

In addition to the album and television gig, Shelton is preparing for one of his most extensive touring seasons—the “Ten Times Crazier” tour. Starting mid-July and ending in early October, he is making 30 stops across the nation. One of them is Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood on August 29th. Shelton recently discussed a problem putting together the upcoming set list for the tour, saying, “It’s neat to be at a place where you think ‘Man, I can’t do all of these singles.’ To have that luxury, and to be that lucky is unbelievable to me.” As USA Today wrote, “Though he won’t be eligible for eight more years, Shelton’s on a fast track to the Country Music Hall of Fame.” Fans hope to see him there one day.