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Kix Brooks, ‘New to This Town’ – Song Review

Kix Brooks
Arista Nashville

As artists reach a certain point in their careers, the scope of what they can sing about narrows. Celebrity status makes it impossible for someone like Keith Urban to sing about picking up women at a bar, because he’s both married and five years sober. Fans wouldn’t buy it.

Kix Brooks has earned the right to sing about whatever he wants, but it’s awkward to hear him go on about getting over a broken heart, as he does in his new solo single ‘New to This Town.’ The man has been married for over 30 years!

Wish I was new to this town / Just pullin’ in / Checkin’ it out for the first time / Wish I could go anywhere / And not be afraid of finding you there / Girl when I see you around / I wish I was new to this town,” Brooks sings during the chorus.

Next to cuts sang by Ronnie Dunn, the Kix Brooks-led Brooks and Dunn songs unfairly felt like add-ons. Now on his own, fans will find a surprisingly unique and charming voice. His delivery is gritty, like a mix of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan (when we could still understand him).

I can’t put my feet on this sidewalk without hearing you laugh and hearing you talk / Every street is a memory of just how good it used to be,” he sings during the second verse. “I can’t walk into that corner bar / Without someone asking how your are / And how you’re doing, and how you’ve been / I gotta go through it all again.”

Eagles‘ guitarist Joe Walsh is underused on this lead cut from Brooks’ upcoming solo album. It begs for a big, bombastic solo between choruses, but the frequent friend to country music only gets a dribble, followed by another as the song fades away.

In a vacuum, ‘New to This Town’ works as a new way to express heartache — one can even visualize the dusty traveler walking with his cowboy hat pointed toward the ground, a dour expression on his face — but more than any other genre’s fans, country music fans tie an artist to the story they tell. It doesn’t have to be biographical, just believable. Anything less trivializes the loyalty that pushes one’s career into its third decade.

2.5 Stars
Listen to Kix Brooks’ ‘New to This Town’

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