As for the rest, Ingram wrote or co-wrote the album's best songs. There's the beautiful ballad "Seeing Stars," a duet with Patty Griffin; "Not Giving Up on Me," a midtempo power ballad about wreckage and redemption; and "Barbie Doll" (co-written with Todd Snider), a solid swaggering street rocker that features Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town. The title track is written in Ingram's older style (despite the presence of Nash Vegas production) -- it's got the elegant simplicity, the simple tune, and the keen insight that brought most of his original fans to his door.
Jack Ingram was named Top New Male Vocalist at last year’s ACM Awards, but the Faustian bargain this respected Texas veteran made to strike it rich in Nashville is abundantly clear. Of all the slickly mediocre tracks on Big Dreams & High Hopes, his eighth album, it’s the remake of his own 1999 song ”Barbie Doll” that hurts the most, now that its raspy bitterness has been replaced by commercial ”rock” production. A suggestion: Skip this and listen to 1999’s Hey You instead.
Jack Ingram had a lot of help recording Big Dreams & High Hopes, his third for Nashville's Big Machine. Patty Griffin, Radney Foster, Dierks Bentley, Todd Snider, and Little Big Town populate the credits. Four producers besides Ingram are listed. And still he's come up with another generic disc of heartland rock that some call country.