Sam Outlaw's name may possess a swagger but his music simmers. Nowhere is the divide more apparent than on his second album, 2017's Tenderheart. Produced by Outlaw and Martin Pradler, Tenderheart is so gentle it sometimes threatens to drift away on a summer breeze, but it often gets pulled back to earth with a bit of twang or a hint of rhythm. The loudest, liveliest song is "Trouble," the only track here that could be said to actually rock, but Outlaw threads a bit of this spirit into some of his midtempo numbers, such as the excellent "Two Broken Hearts" and the lightly skipping two-step "All My Life." Ultimately, Outlaw isn't about kicking up dust or raising a ruckus.
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