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New Travis Tritt album, ‘The Storm,’ has soul

Audio Review


Travis Tritt, “The Storm” (Category 5) – Travis Tritt has always shown a stronger soul influence than any country singer of his generation – something he’s made explicit in duets with icons Ray Charles, Patti LaBelle and Sam Moore. With “The Storm,” he amps up the oldschool rhythm-and-blues aspect of his music, from collaborating with co-producer Randy Jackson from “America Idol” to layering on the horns and the funk.

Vocally, Tritt’s husky growl roars with as much gusto as ever. The Georgia resident proves repeatedly that he’s just as suited to this material as to singing about honky tonks, whiskey and broken relationships earlier in his 18-year recording career.

When the songs measure up, as in the contemporary gospel ballad “Something Stronger Than Me” and his cover of Hank Williams Jr.’s “The Pressure Is On,” Tritt creates songs that equal his best country hits.

He also uses the opportunity to get a little randier than country’s conservative gatekeepers would allow, as in the lascivious “Rub Off on Me.”

But not every song deserves the sweat and soul Tritt pours into them. A voice this strong only brings out lyrical weaknesses, as in Diane Warren’s predictable ballad, “(I Wanna) Feel Too Much.”

For the most part, though, “The Storm” suggests Tritt can still bring the thunder.

CHECK THIS OUT: In the title song, “The Storm,” Tritt stomps out an organ-driven soulrocker worthy of a classic Allman Brothers album.

– By MICHAEL McCALL

Associated Press writer


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