And overall, his new album leans more in the latter direction featuring more good than bad.
The title track, "Bringing Back the Sunshine" is the opener to the album, and it's not the strongest track on the album, but it's decent. It's got a good beat and it's got good melody. It's followed by the first single, "Neon Light," which fits nicely onto the album as a whole. It's actually nice to have a drinking song back where they belong...not on a Friday night tailgate, but under the neon lights of a bar, trying to get over a woman.
The strongest track on the album is a duet with Ashley Monroe called "Lonely Tonight." It's an almost perfect song; even if it's a well-used theme, it works as two former lovers talk and discuss not getting back together, but easing the loneliness and emptiness of a single night.
"Gonna" is where Shelton veers off track a bit. The song reminds me slightly of David Nail's "Whatever She's Got." It's got some bro-country elements without going full-on bro-country. It's not a good song, but it's not the worst in the world either. There's been a lot worse in recent years.
"A Girl" is another solid tune which puts some substance back into Shelton's repetoire and could also garner some radio airplay. And "Sangria" is decent, with a different mood to it. Even though the lyrics never go beyond ordinary, it's not an offensive track.
Then we hit "Buzzin'" which sounds like an outtake from Shelton's Hillbilly Bone sessions. It's where the album hits its most bro-country moment and it's a track that should've been left on the cutting room floor.
"Just South of Heaven" is the third best track on the album behind "Lonely Tonight" and "Anyone Else." It's got a nice toned-down production and really shows Shelton's vocal ability.
"Good Country Song" is an almost ironic song coming from Shelton. While he's singing about what makes a good country song, noting his heroes, talking about how he listened to country when it was rock and rap that were cool, it's hard not to reflect on his recent hit "Boys Round Here," and want to confront him on such a contradiction.
The album closer "Just Gettin' Started" is a party song. Some might consider it part of the bro-country sub-genre. And maybe it is, but it's actually not a bad party song. At least Shelton isn't rapping, and the song is fun. It may have fit better in the middle of the album rather than at the end. It shouldn't have closed the album; it shouldn't be a single; however, as an album cut, it's decent track to just enjoy for what it is.
Overall, how does the album fare? Well, there's only one track ("Buzzin'") that's out-and-out bad. It's surrounded by a few ok-to-decent tracks, a few pretty good tracks, and a few very good ones.
And even on the ok-to-decent tracks, Shelton seems to be putting in effort. And in my opinion, that effort counts for something. The album still can't top the greatness of Pure B.S., but it might be his best since Startin' Fires. With a little more effort, he might be able to put out an album of the caliber of Pure B.S. again...he has the capability. But does he have the self-control to avoid truly bad songs? He seems to be trying.