Kix Brooks' solo material has a Bad Blake quality to it. He hasn't lived quite the same wayward life as the 'Crazy Heart' (2009) character (played by Jeff Bridges), but songs like his second single, 'Bring It on Home,' share similar pacing and sincerity. 

It's an overreach to say Brooks is playing to the band, but he's definitely playing to a listener with a higher musical IQ. It remains to be seen if 'Bring It on Home' can be the commercial success 'New to This Town' wasn't. There are safer bets... if betting on country singles was something legal, advisable or entertaining.

From the first beat, the former duet partner to Ronnie Dunn sounds loose and sincere over a gentle acoustic. "I was looking for a slow down, when you came around / I just didn't know how," he sings. "I never left the barroom or a beer joint / 'Til the lights went out / But in the middle of a long slow kiss / A light came on / I've been doing this all wrong / I think I'm gonna try holding on."

Brooks' voice isn't going to please everyone, but what he lacks in technical capabilities, he more than makes up for with controlled passion. Brooks knows how to stay within his limits, although it's not clear if he'll be able to carry an entire album. The 'New to This Town' album will be released on Sept. 11.

"All my life I been runnin' / And all these nights I've wasted / All this time I been on the move / I think I'm gonna stop now and bring it all home with you," he sings during the chorus. It's an easy sentiment for the 57-year-0ld to wear.

Like Bad Blake "hits," 'Bring It on Home' feels built for a soundtrack. The story is quick and clear, but not short of artistry. It's a good song, but not one mainstream country America will blow up request lines for. The queue for the ambivalent will far outreach the same for the impassioned.

3 Stars

Listen to Kix Brooks, 'Bring It on Home'

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