The lead single from Jerrod Niemann's second studio album on Arista Nashville travels a road fans of 'Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury' are familiar with. 'Shinin' on Me' buries hurt with a few smiles and a positive attitude.

The fact that the song could fit well alongside many of the more insipid album cuts on his major label debut is worrisome. There is little new to be excited about with 'Shinin' on Me.' It sounds like one chosen because it played well around a campfire with a few close buddies and a case of beer.

"Life is taking turns / Falling flat on your chin / Trying to fly with the birds / Love sure is blind / 'Cause it don't see / It ain't spent one night / Feelin' sorry for me," Niemann sings during the first verse. Fans will argue for this trademark looseness, but others won't be as patient.

"Today the sun is shinin' on me / Sittin' with my feet in the breeze / Ain't sweatin' the little things / And who knows what tomorrow is gonna bring / Today the sun is shinin' me," he adds during the chorus.

Niemann has yet to replicate the vocal performance he turned in on 'Lover, Lover,' which is somewhat frustrating. In aiming for care-free, he seems to hinge on lazy. "There ain't too many times / I felt like a king / But sittin' here with you dear / Makes me wanna sing."

Finding that middle-ground is difficult. Perhaps only Billy Currington has gotten it right in recent years, but if Niemann can ride that groove on future songs from this album, he could quickly double the 'Good Directions' hitmaker's successes.

2.5 Stars

Listen to Jerrod Niemann, 'Shinin' on Me'

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