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Gregory Robson 08/06/12 11:03 AM

Mac Powell - Mac Powell
Mac Powell - Mac Powell
Record Label: Self-released
Self-released: July 17, 2012

Mac Powell didn't have to release a solo country record. After all, he's done enough with the Grammy Award-winning Christian act Third Day to solidify his place in the history of contemporary music. But sure enough, the Alabama native did exactly that last month when he released this self-titled collection. Powell has gone on record as saying that the decision was just a chance to cut loose and have some fun, while Third Day work on their 10th studio album, due later this fall. Raised in Alabama, and a long-time resident of Georgia, Powell has admitted that he listened to a lot of Southern rock and country music growing up, and this 12-song disc is proof of that.

"Sweet Georgia Girl," is foot-stomping, jangle and in-your-face, while "Saturday Night," is freewheeling and rowdy. Powell is blessed with a burly voice that leaps from the speakers and that voice is on full display on the barnstormer "Mississippi," and the raucous, radio-ready "June Bug." Mac Powell is definitively Southern and nowhere is that more apparent than on the Appalachian-inspired "Carolina," a deep, soulful cut with a reedy lilt that is yearning, hopeful and borderline elegiac. Powell is at his best though on gripping, emotional ballads, in which his voice rises like a beacon and serves as more than just a vessel of song. It is in many ways an instrument of solace. The most sterling examples of this are the giant ballad "Carry You," an ageless yarn about devotion and affection; and the understated "Hold On To Me," in which his booming voice provides far more muscle than many of his contemporaries.

But Mac Powell is not without its mistakes. "Julia Ann," is a sweet valentine that is warm and rousing, if not a bit too saccharine; equally as hokey is the slow-burner "Do You Love Me." Corny lyrics aside, the very problem with Mac Powell is how decidedly un-country it sounds. Thankfully, the Montgomery Gentry-esque "This Ain't No Hobby," and the swelling breakup ballad "Trying To Get Over You," give the band a sense of country mettle. But all minor complaints aside, Mac Powell is a crisp and supremely polished collection. Truth be told, there are plenty of musicians slaving away at day jobs that would ache to write an album this warm and pleasant. That in and of itself should be enough to keep Powell moving forward on solo album number two.

Recommended If You Like Third Day, Montgomery Gentry, Josh Turner

Find Him Here http://www.macpowell.com

rawspinner 08/06/12 03:25 PM

This is a momentous day for AP.net. A Mac Powell review? What is this world coming too?

singyoutocoma 08/06/12 06:45 PM

I looked at this and thought there must be another Mac Powell in the world.

Damn if Conspiracy No. 5 wasn't good, though.

davecerv 08/06/12 07:00 PM

WHAAAATTT a review of the new Mac Powell country album!?!?!? I'm so surprised in a good way!!! :) I really liked this new production but mainly "Sweet Georgia Girl", "Mississippi", "Hold On To Me", "This Aint No Hobby" and the last song on the album. Mississippi is my top favorite on this album though it's always in my head haha, would love to hear that land on radio one day! My least favorites are Saturday Night, June Bug, and Carolina.