Posted on 16 August 2007 by Bill West
“I’ve watched enough daytime TV to know my baby’s needs… but sometimes I swear she’s impossible to please.”
- Travis Tritt on “You Never Take Me Dancing”
Travis Tritt is platinum 25 times over and still
it seems he gets no respect. He aims to change that with his new CD out August 21st in which he throws it all out there.
“The Storm” is a big project co-produced by Tritt and the unlikely American Idol judge Randy Jackson. I’ll be the first to say a link to Idol never hurt anyone’s career. In fact, as soon as you press play you can hear some of Jackson’s influence. Tritt always had soul… but it soars to new heights in the prelude. A bluesy ad libbed soulfully southern SCAT. No other country artist could or would ever pull it off. Tritt makes it authentic.
Then comes the lead radio single You Never Take Me Dancing. It’s one of my favorites on the disk, but you soon start to think this is going to be a way different Tritt record.
The rest of the disk is a bit more safe and less funky. But the entire CD is a showcase of Tritts unique vocal gift. He is an American original that has created his own brand of country music.
“Dancing” was written by 80′s pop star Richard Marx who has been trying to break into Nashville for a few years now. There are a few other heavy hitters involved on “The Storm” including hit machine Dianne Warren ( I could Not Ask For More and How Do I live) plus Hank Jr. and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Other than “Dancing” all the contributions seem relatively weak. But it is interesting to hear Jackson’s influence on more country fare.
Unfortunately radio seems to be afraid of anything out of the box… so “You Never Take me Dancing” will probably be too funky for your average country program director. Plus the label’s Indy status wont loosen them up much. Enjoy it for the short time you hear it on the radio. Too bad.
I suggest the label resist the urge to release The Diane Warren tune “Feel Too Much” - just seems a bit forced and manufactured to me. Instead fast forward to the powerful mid tempo “Stronger Than Me.” I got chills the first two times I listened and I’m ready to put it on right now. It’s got a peaceful easy 70′s southern fried vibe that is perfect Travis Tritt. To me it’s a potential smash and is one of the best songs I’ve heard since “Great Day To Be Alive.”.
Tritt is pulling out all the promotional stops for the release too. Watch for him on the Today Show, CNN, and Leno in the coming weeks. Travis Tritt’s “The Storm” will be released on September 21st on Category 5 Records. His first studio project in over three years.
I Keep Replaying: “You Never Take Me Dancing” and “Stronger Than Me”
Skip Over: Dianne Warren’s I Wanna Feel Too Much – Trys too much.
Overall Grade: B- The whole project is injected with Tritt’s totally original vocals and delivery. A few hits shy of a home run… but solid.