The Dreamer


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Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

Shelton’s strong work ethic extends from backbreaking labor to relationship building on “Heavy Liftin’.” The youngest in the family recalls his mother’s love (“She said I don’t care if you’re 80/You’ll always be my baby”) and mourns her passing on “The Baby.” “The Dreamer” realizes too late that fame and fortune aren’t worth sacrificing a woman’s love on the altar of success. “Asphalt Cowboy” and “Underneath the Same Moon” find the singer longing to be reunited with a special lady. Despite a line about a man “sipping homemade wine” during Bible study, “My Neck of the Woods” focuses on caring neighbors. Shelton fancies himself an afterlife architect on “In My Heaven,” which imagines an honest place free of school violence, however …

Objectionable Content

He also jests about feeding lawyers to the lions. Shelton drowns his sorrows in rum, tequila and other spirits on a remake of Johnny Paycheck’s hit “Georgia in a Jug.” After years of drinking and chasing women, two “bad apple” buddies find themselves sharing a cell, yet don’t appear repentant (“Playboys of the Southwestern World”). Theological navel-gazing yields no answers on “Someday,” and might even breed confusion (“Is infinity a circle? … Have we lived other lives our memories have erased”).

Summary Advisory

Shelton is at his best touting traditional rural values and an affection for family life. But his dreams sour when he turns to songs about booze and wild living.

Bob Waliszewski
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