The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Turner’s latest brings country to its roots

Laura Miller | Monday, November 12, 2007

The fact the Josh Turner has not won a Grammy or a CMA is a travesty.

Admittedly Turner is still in the early days of his music career, but he has already been nominated for several prestigious awards. His career got off to a bright start in 2004 with the release of his first album, “Long Black Train,” which earned him nominations at the CMA as well as a platinum certification.

His next album, “Your Man,” featured the title song “Your Man” as well as “Would You Go With Me,” which both topped the country charts and broke into the U.S. pop charts. “Would You Go With Me” has maintained its popularity since its release in 2006, and Turner earned a nomination for it in Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

This oft-nominated but never victorious male vocalist brings country back to its roots with his new album “Everything is Fine.” His original style and heart-melting voice make the entire album a pleasant listen. Hailing from South Carolina, Turner creates music that reflects a classic country tradition.

While previous albums showcased his ability to produce excellent singles, this album is more rounded. The CD, released two weeks ago, includes the single “Firecracker.”

Undoubtedly the highlight of the album, this song is energetic, positive and full of good-old-country jamming. If you haven’t heard this song yet, find it. It has already hit No. 8 on the country charts only two weeks after the official release.

Despite Turner’s vocal excellence, he faces an obstacle that many country singers of today avoid. Turner’s style is unabashedly country-western. His soundtrack is characterized more by banjos, guitars and bass than by electric guitars and drums.

While this appeals to the die-hard country fans, many of today’s country listeners are actually pop-music converts. Thus, most prefer the stylings of artists such as Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood.

These artists do a much better job blending the styles of country and pop – sometimes to the detriment of both. Their music, however, usually turns out to be well-written and performed and is overwhelmingly popular for all audiences.

Turner’s music is at a disadvantage because it might be unappealing to those who aren’t in touch with country culture. In an interview about his album, Turner said, “There’s a lot of different kinds of songs on this record, but they’re all a part of what I’m about. There’s some great up-tempo country, fun kinda songs – there’s some really great ballads, heartbreak songs, love songs.”

For the true country aficionado, no one says country like Josh Turner. His hit singles are undoubtedly some of the best songs in recent country history, and his newest album “Everything Is Fine” is also promising. Although it’s unfortunate that Turner has not enjoyed the level of success that he perhaps deserves, his voice will give him a longevity that most singers don’t enjoy. Even if he never wins a CMA award or a Grammy, 20 years from now you’ll still be hearing his music.