Brooks & Dunn - "Hard Workin' Man" Apr 8, 2015 15:45:24 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Apr 8, 2015 15:45:24 GMT -5
Hard Workin' Man (1993)
By: Brooks & Dunn
By: Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn's debut album Brand New Man came out of complete nowhere due to the fact that the album was a neatly-packaged, concise work that capitalized off of the traits of a certain culture of people and didn't pander to it. With the duo's sophomore effort, Hard Workin' Man, the effect detours a bit off course to a level of pandering to the artists' respective demographic, yet still manages to be a winning combination of heartbreak songs and raucous country jams.
However, the level of pandering arrives promptly just from the titular track alone, which details the life of a devoted, hard working, blue collar individual who knows busting his ass all too well. This kind of ditty, while captured with the kind of upbeat aura Brooks & Dunn work best under, is as obvious as a song about the red, white, and blue in terms of emotion and content, and gives anyone who was humbled by the simplicity and difference of their very first single "Brand New Man" the wrong impression. Thankfully, however, the duo rebound back into their favorable territory with "Heartbroke Out of My Mind," which feels like a sequel to the single off their last album "My Next Broken Heart," capturing the effects of heartbreak with a heart-wrenching kind of honesty that isn't burdened by sappiness (save that for their track "She Used to Be Mine."
What always amazes me about Brooks & Dunn is how different they sound depending on who is singing. Montgomery Gentry have a kind of consistency to their music, being that both Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry have rugged voices, and Florida Georgia Line even bears a similarity between their voices. Depending on who grabs the mic, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn have the ability to conjure up different styles, with Brooks capturing a humble, soulful aura (especially with the ballady "Mexican Minutes") and Dunn capitalizing off of an occasionally raspier tone of voice throughout the album.
Sometimes, however, both surprise and create something like "Texas Girls (Don't Stay Lonely Long)," both of whom assuming different sounds and vocal styles and something is created out of the blue. This kind of diversity could only help foreshadow the longevity of Brooks & Dunn's career, and the ten-track Hard Workin' Man (let's pretend like that asinine "club mix" of "Boot Scootin' Boogie" doesn't exist) is a continuing testament of their talent through and through.
Recommended tracks (in order): "Heartbroke Out of My Mind," "Hard Workin' Man," and "Mexican Minutes."