CD review: Blake Shelton needs Miranda for some help

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Grade • D

CD • Blake Shelton is such a fun raconteur as a judge on "The Voice" that it is always frustrating that his albums are rarely fun.

On his new album, the 12-track collection "... Based on a True Story," he doesn't write or co-write a single tune, so in order to be considered a compelling artist, Shelton needs to show he can interpret songs with the talent and insight that other country singers such as Jason Aldean and Reba McEntire have mastered. He doesn't.

While his voice is strong, it is consistently forgettable. It is a lazy album, with songs name-checking tired clich├ęs involving guns, rednecks, country radio and including uninspired lines such as "Red lips like wine / Wanna drink 'em up."

Instead of mentoring other singers on how to be successful — and by the way, how many of those "Voice" winners have gone on to success once they're off the show? — Shelton should sit down, perhaps with his talented wife Miranda Lambert, and make an album that shows us who he is really is. For now, he sounds like one of many indistinguishable, slick country singers on the radio. —

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