By: Chuck Dauphin Country Music Is Love
A full decade has passed since the last studio album from Clint Black has hit the market. That’s very much a rare thing in this industry. However, the singer has continued to write and tour in the ten years that have passed since then, with many of the songs composed during that span of time being represented on this new disc.
In listening to On Purpose, there are several cuts that I don’t think Clint Black could have pulled off the same way had he recorded them back in the days of “Killin’ Time” or “Put Yourself In My Shoes.” “Time For That” or “The Last Day” might have been a little bit out of place on those classic albums. The lyrics – about making the most of the day and clinging to life’s priorites – were written by the same guy who penned such radio hits as “Better Man” and “We Tell Ourselves,” but with age and experience comes a little bit of wisdom – and it shines brightly in the lyrical content of both of these songs.
There’s also somewhat of a darker side of Black on this album, as well. “Still Calling It News” is the most biting piece of social commentary that the singer has ever put to music, and “Stay Gone” – about fighting off demons – is particularly somber, but he pulls it off rather well. I don’t know if he’s ever written a stronger lyric, in my opinion.
Other tracks that are sure to be fan favorites is the charming “The Trouble,” the whimsical “Beer,” and the 70s pop sound of “Breathing Air.” From a love song standpoint, he scores with the bittersweet yearnings of “Making You Smile,” about recognizing a lost love – and the reasons for it. The romantic feel of “You Still Get To Me,” a duet with wife Lisa Hartman Black, is by far the most bluesy of anything they have done together.
On Purpose definitely stands as a welcome return from one of the format’s more interesting singer-songwriters. I just hope he doesn’t wait another ten years between new albums! But this one was definitely worth the wait.