David Nail just may be the best country vocalist that no one is talking about. The Kennett, Mo. native is unassuming -- often wearing clothes more fit for an interview at Apple than the stage of a honky tonk -- and mild-mannered. He'd get lost amongst a pack of more boisterous male singers if it weren't for his undeniable vocal abilities.

The title-track from his new album 'The Sound of a Million Dreams' is another hit from the 32-year-old that is better than 95 percent of songs on the radio, but easy to miss in today's fast food culture. Nail has yet to release a single one could call catchy, or hooky and the result has been critical praise, but commercial struggles.

"Seger was singing words I could believe in / And Main Street" was my street that night / So I called up Samantha and asked her the chance / Of us running out 'neath the moonlight / Well, she's not with me now, she can always be found / When I rewind the radio dial / And like it was then I feel her on my skin / And I'm back there for awhile," Nail sings to open the song. Like Eric Church's 'Springsteen' and dozens before that, 'The Sound of a Million Dreams' connects an intense personal experience with the music of the times. Later, the singer admits he hopes to inspire such memories one day. It's an subtle shift in perspective that grabs one's attention but creates a wall between artist and listener.

"So I labor for hours 'cause I know the power of a song when a song hits you right / Pouring my soul into stories of life, hoping someone will hear one tonight / Maybe my voice will cut through the noise and stir up an old memory / And out of these piano keys comes the sound, the sound of a million dreams," he sings during the chorus. Scooter Carusoe and Phil Vassar are masters of imagery, and this song should be high on both songwriter's resumes.

It will be a struggle for Nail to follow up the chart-topping success of 'Red Light' and 'Let It Rain,' but as we learn every Oscar season, sometimes the best creative endeavors aren't the ones that millions see, hear or even pay attention to. Nail is proving he is an artist who won't compromise his integrity for cheap and easy success.

4.5 Stars

Listen to David Nail's 'The Sound of a Million Dreams'

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