Album Spotlight: Josh Turner’s ‘Deep South’
Within the first few chords of Deep South, it becomes immediately evident that Josh Turner has breathed new life into his career. While still incorporating the traditional Turner sound, there’s a fresh air to the record that will sound familiar to fans while also taking them in a new direction.
The title track is a strong opener full of upbeat twang, with Turner giving a shout out to his roots in a song that can fit anywhere from a honky-tonk in Texas to the top of the country charts. He continues the uptempo, contemporary sound on “All About You,” and gets back to his traditional country roots on the album’s lead single “Hometown Girl,” which finds the singer calling out to the ambitious girl next door who’s chasing her dreams but knows where she comes from. Its lyrics and sound serve as a perfect fit for Turner.
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“Southern Drawl,” one of the standout tracks on the album, hooks the listener in with its moody melody and Turner showing off a strong drawl of his own on lyrics including, “She’s as pretty as south Georgia peaches / And as hot as any Tennessee June / She’s a treasure underneath that Carolina kudzu / She still outshines a Mississippi moon.“
The country star gets more sentimental on “Never Had a Reason” and “Wonder,” the latter of which is one of the most contemporary sounding and poignant tracks on the album. In it, the singer ponders a past relationship with a nostalgic melody to match. The inclusion of the 2014 single “Lay Low” is also a nice touch, a fine fit for an album that pays homage to Turner’s roots.
Turner recently told Taste of Country that the album exudes an “air of newness” — and he’s exactly right. There aren’t really any slow moments on the album, which is rare to accomplish, and he’s managed to select a solid blend of new and traditional songs that help artistically move the singer forward while still staying true to his humble roots. Deep South is a strong representation of what’s made Turner such a longstanding artist in the industry. It also shows he’s smart enough to know how, and when, to evolve.
Did You Know? Turner wrote 80 songs for Deep South. The title song was written solely by Turner with no commercial aspirations.
Key Tracks: “Deep South,” “Hometown Girl,” “Southern Drawl,” “Wonder”
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