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Blake Shelton, ‘Boys ‘Round Here’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Boys Round Here
Warner Music Nashville

There is comedy in Blake Shelton singing with Pistol Annies, as he does on his new single ‘Boys ‘Round Here.’ One imagines a country Hugh Hefner surrounded by his beauties. In real life, the Annies likely (very likely) don’t attend to his every need and agree with him at all costs, but they do on this song, and it’s absolutely charming. 

‘Boys ‘Round Here’ stands out on Shelton’s new ‘Based on a True Story …’ album. The production and style are unique on a project that’s otherwise full of straightforward ballads and country-rockers. As a lead track, it sets a tone that’s never revisited, but on its own, as a single, it lays down a bluesy groove that’s just … cool.

Well the boys ’round here don’t listen to the Beatles / Run ole Bocephus through a jukebox needle / At a honky-tonk, where their boots stomp / All night, what? (That’s right),” Shelton sings to begin the song.

But the best lyrics come in verse two: “Well the boys ’round here, they’re keeping it country / Ain’t a damn one know how to do the Dougie / (You don’t do the Dougie?) No, not in Kentucky / But these girls ’round here yep, they still love me.” (Not familiar with the Dougie? Get a lesson from Michelle Obama.)

Yea, the girls ’round here, they all deserve a whistle / Shakin’ that sugar, sweet as Dixie Crystal,” ‘The Voice’ coach sings to close the second verse — and what a great line!

Shelton goes country pimpin’ through the chorus, until he gets to the memorable hook. That’s songwriter Dallas Davidson singing “Red, red, red, … redneck” through an supple mix of processors.

‘Boys ‘Round Here’ is intentionally silly, but score the singer significant style points for never taking his story too seriously. Toby Keith did the same thing on ‘Red Solo Cup,’ and look how that worked out for him. As country fans, we feel like we’re in on the joke.

This new song is a more complete experience than the aforementioned single by Keith, and it’s one only one singer and his vocal harem could pull off so effectively: Shelton. It’s a beautiful thing when the right song finds the right person.

4.5 Stars

Listen to Blake Shelton, ‘Boys ‘Round Here’

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Next: Listen to Blake Shelton's Funny Duet With Annie Ashley Monroe

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