Horse of a Different Color


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Bob Smithouser
Rhonda Handlon

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

“Real World” itemizes absurd fantasies perpetuated by TV. “Love Train” and “Rollin’ (The Ballad of Big & Rich)” condemn prejudices in an attempt to unify people. A lover’s quarrel is compared to a “Wild West Show” where “there’s never a hero in a battle of egos” and only forgiveness will save the day. “Holy Water” empathizes with a distraught woman. A man drops to his knees and begs God for mercy (“Saved”), while another has a life-changing encounter with a miracle worker “who said his name was Jesus” (“Live This Life”), but …

Objectionable Content

A relationship with Christ seems to justify a suicidal teen’s desire to check out early on “Live This Life.” Mild profanities pop up. On “Kick My A–,” partyers “drink and dance and smoke until the dawn.” A guy drowns his sorrows on “Drinkin’ ’Bout You.” Girls guzzle brew on “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” which also finds a man bragging about scoring in the back of his truck. The singer on “Big Time” aspires to hang out in a bar and mooch off of a rich pal. “Real World” prescribes Prozac for a silly loner. Liner photos show the duo drinking and playing cards.

Summary Advisory

John Rich and Big Kenny Alphin co-wrote Gretchen Wilson’s smash “Redneck Woman.” That same hard-partying, loose-living attitude washes over their own disc like a Midwestern flash flood. Give them credit for some positive messages and the ability to transcend musical genres. But don’t invite them home.

Bob Smithouser
Rhonda Handlon
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