Picks and Pans Review: Billy Currington

UPDATED 11/03/2003 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/03/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

Billy Currington

[STARS 3]

Country newcomer Billy Currington, a 29-year-old Georgian, has a smooth baritone and an easy, unforced style that is nearly as ingratiating as that of his idols Keith Whitley and Alabama's Randy Owen. He is also playful enough to bring off the bouncy confessional "Off My Rocker" as well as sentimental enough to plausibly sing the slightly cloying "Walk a Little Straighter," a small child's plea to his drunken father: "Walk a little straighter, Daddy/ You're swaying side to side/ Your footsteps make me dizzy/And no matter how I try/I keep trippin' and stumblin'." (Currington's own step-dad died from alcohol-related causes.) Meanwhile, "I Got a Feelin' " is an affable falling-in-love song that Currington sells effectively with his youthful, enthusiastic delivery. The singer, who cowrote 10 of the disc's 11 tracks, could stand some better material—perhaps a Merle Haggard tune or a George Jones number. Still, this enjoyable debut establishes Currington as a bright new voice in country

BLUES-ROCK

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