David Nail's new album is a thinking man's album. The 11 songs require an investment of time and energy. Much like lablemate Gary Allan, Nail refuses to record anything with a trace of a pop-country scent.

This is why some fans will love 'The Sound of a Million Dreams' and why others will just sort of scratch their heads and move on. Few will label Nail's poetry as bad, because there is no bad poetry. There's just poems you don't understand yet. Right?

Many of Nail's ballads are so personal they fail at allowing listeners to adapt the songs to his or her own strife. 'Catherine,' 'Songs for Sale,' and 'Half Mile Hill' fall to this fate. 'Desiree' is a ballad that works, but the Keith Urban written song doesn't jump from the speakers until a second, third or fifth listen.

There are some extraordinary sonic moments on 'The Sound of a Million Dreams,' including the opening to 'Catch You While I Can' and the piano work on the Phil Vassar co-written title track. In fact, the title track may be the best song on the album, aside from the Top 20 single 'Let It Rain.'

'Grandpa's Farm' sets the tone for an album that doesn't follow. Frankie Ballard recorded this song better on his debut this summer. Nail's attempt is not as serious as some of the other material, but after listening to the other 10 songs it's clear it's very un-Nail-like.

If you like the country equivalent of Doritos, this album is not your snack. But if you pride yourself as having a more discerning pallat, 'The Sound of a Million Dreams' is your dish.