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Craig Campbell, ‘Never Regret’ – Album Review

Never Regret
Bigger Picture Music Group

Craig Campbell does a lot of things better than average. He’s a better than average singer who has chosen better than average songs for his new album ‘Never Regret,’ yet somehow, the project ends up feeling rather ordinary.

There’s no defining moment that will etch Campbell’s name into the Nashville cement. If anything, the line between him and Craig Morgan has gotten fuzzier.

‘When the Ends Meet,’ a blue-collar love song about fighting to pay the bills, is the finest moment of the 12. “I lean on her / She leans on me / That’s what we do / When ends don’t meet,” Campbell sings. He sounds like a guy who has been there. In fact, throughout the album his performances are genuine and pure. There’s not a song that doesn’t fit his style — and the traditional country production looks nice on him, too.

Early on, ‘Truck-N-Roll’ and ‘Keep Them Kisses Comin” capture a breezy freedom that’s contagious. Both songs are highlights. “I swear there’s honey on your lips / Baby give me one more long, slow kiss,” Campbell sings on the latter, showing some vocal range and soul while he does it.

There are two attempts to find a song like ‘Fish,’ but neither ‘My Baby’s Daddy’ or ‘Topless’ get the job done. The latter is a ham-fisted redneck joke that doesn’t fit with the rest of the material on ‘Never Regret.’ It’s like putting ketchup on a steak.

Later on the album, ‘That’s Why God Made a Front Porch’ shines, but only if you’ve never heard ‘Almost Home’ or ‘That’s What I Love About Sunday.’ These are two great songs to be compared to, but Campbell’s tribute to the covered entrance on one’s home is a little to close in content, especially for a singer who mixes heart and humor in a way so similar to Morgan.

One knock-you-down, goosebump love song or country rocker that makes your hips shake involuntarily would change the entire landscape of this album. Without it, you’re left thinking, “What a nice album that is.” No one has ever burned a hole in an album they called “nice.”

3 Stars

Next: See Which Other New Albums Are Coming in 2013

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