Earlier this year, Blake Shelton said that he probably wouldn’t release a new album any time soon. However, it turns out that his label, Warner Music Nashville, had other plans. “I knew the label would come up with some plan to release an album,” joked Shelton in a statement, of his new album, Fully Loaded: God’s Country, out today.
The album is part-EP and part-greatest hits package, combining a handful of Shelton’s recent releases with some of his older hits. The latter portion of the album contains some of the biggest tracks from Shelton’s 2017 release Texoma Shore and 2016’s If I’m Honest, including “She’s Got A Way With Words,” “I’ll Name the Dogs,” and “I Lived It.”
For the newer section of the album, there’s the title track, the booming “God’s Country,” which marks Shelton’s 26th number one hit at country radio. The song has rightfully earned Shelton a fair bit of attention, including a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Solo Performance and a trophy for Single of the Year at this year’s CMA Awards.
The album also features two new duets, one with Shelton’s longtime pal, Trace Adkins, and one with his Voice co-coach and girlfriend, Gwen Stefani. The duet with Adkins follows in the vein of their previous duet, “Hillbilly Bone,” as a raucous ode to a wild night (“Hell Right”).
The duet with Stefani is definitely a highlight here. Despite the glaring differences in their voices, they somehow manage to create magical harmonies. Written by Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Tommy Lee James, the song is a simple love story. “I don’t want to live without you/ I don’t want to even breathe/ I don’t want to dream about you/ Want to wake up with you next to me,” They sing. “I don’t wanna go down any other road, Now I don’t wanna love nobody but you/ Looking in your eyes now/ If I had to die now/ I don’t wanna love nobody but you.”
“This was one of those songs where the more I heard it, the more I fell in love with it,” Shelton said of the duet. “I also realized how important it is for me and where I am in my life, and I think that’s why Shane was trying to get it to me. It fits my story. I was about to go in and record when I decided that it needed Gwen on it – because it is our song. I think it’s magic.”
The album ends with Shelton’s raucous cover of the Bobby Bare classic, “Tequila Sheila,” which Shelton previously released last year as part of a Friends and Heroes session. “One of the coolest things I’ve been able to do in my career, because I’ve been fortunate, is be a little selfish along the way and be able to record some songs that I grew up loving,” said Shelton in a statement. “I feel like they have helped shape who I am as an artist and were what inspired me to want to be a country singer. I recorded this song and didn’t really have a plan for it — I just wanted to have my own version. I’m a huge fan, and I always felt like Bobby Bare’s personality was the kind I wanted to have as an artist, too.”
FULLY LOADED: GOD’S COUNTRY TRACKLISTING
1. God’s Country – Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt, Devin Dawson
2. Hell Right (feat. Trace Adkins) – David Garcia, Brett Tyler, Michael Hardy
3. Nobody But You (Duet with Gwen Stefani) – Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Tommy Lee James
4. Came Here to Forget – Craig Wiseman, Deric Ruttan
5. She’s Got a Way with Words – Wyatt Earp, Andy Albert, Marc Beeson
6. A Guy With a Girl – Ashley Gorley, Bryan Simpson
7. Every Time I Hear That Song – Aimee Mayo, Chris Lindsey, Brad Warren, Brett Warren
8. I’ll Name the Dogs – Matt Dragstrem, Ben Hayslip, Josh Thompson
9. I Lived It – Ashley Gorley, Ben Hayslip, Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman
10. Turnin’ Me On – Blake Shelton, Jessi Alexander, Josh Osborne
11. Jesus Got a Tight Grip – Blake Shelton, Chase McGill, Jessi Alexander, Rhett Akins
12. Tequila Sheila – Mac Davis, Shel Silverstein
While no New York City date has been announced just yet, Shelton will hit the road beginning in February on his Friends and Heroes 2020 Tour, featuring guest appearances by Lauren Alaina, The Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson, and Trace Adkins. Visit www.blakeshelton.com for more information on ticket sales and exclusive VIP packages.
Fully Loaded: God’s Country is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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