Release Date: Feb 9, 2010
Record label: MCA Nashville
“American Honey” is the name of Lady Antebellum’s current single, but it could just as well describe Josh Turner’s voice. He has one of those deep, supple voices that make people compare it to molasses or honey, and use words like supple. He has never sounded better than on his current hit, “Why Don’t We Just Dance”. It’s a combination of the swinging rhythm and the song’s beckoning tone that makes Turner sound so relaxed and in control.
Josh Turner has the best baritone in the business, a sexy Carolina rumble that can work either frisky or sincere. He’s devoted to ?traditional arrangements, and he’s packed this fourth album, Haywire, with steel guitar, fiddles, and two-stepping beats. But not far beyond the ?delights of the first single, “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” Haywire gets bogged down by increasingly hokey love songs — she’s sweet as ?a honeybee hive, people! — and ?that voice deserves much better.
Blessed with a rich baritone that is one of the most distinctive voices in modern country, Josh Turner has struggled to this point in his career to find material that is equally as distinctive. He’s had isolated moments of real inspiration since breaking through with the new gospel standard “Long Black Train,” but records like Your Man and Everything Is Fine were uneven efforts characterized by filler. That problem continues on his fourth album, Haywire, a stuffy, aesthetically conservative set of songs at odds with Turner’s stated intentions of loosening up a bit.
It’s never a good sign when an artist’s new album opens with its first two singles. That’s just what Josh Turner's fourth album, Haywire, does, with the obligatory modern-day honky tonker “Why Don’t We Just Dance?” and the faux-sensitive macho ballad “I Wouldn’t Be a Man.” Producer Frank Rogers tried admirably to make a more organic-sounding record than 2007’s Justin Niebank-helmed Everything Is Fine. This doesn’t mean it's "traditional" in any sense; Haywire is a thoroughly contemporary country record, but is reined in sonically with more acoustic instrumentation, less compression, and vocals placed properly in their relation to the instrumental mix.