By Annie Reuter
Blake Shelton recently released his 11th studio album, Texoma Shore, and the 11 tracks are a return to the singer’s roots with vivid storylines and country instrumentation.
Ahead of the album’s release, Shelton made six songs available for fans and the generous gesture rewarded him. As a result, he accomplished a feat no other country artist has ever done when each song debuted on the charts, making him the only artist to have six songs on the Mediabase chart at one time in Country Aircheck’s history.
“At the end of the day, I make music so that it can be heard,” Shelton explains. “It’s amazing that so many songs from a brand new album have been embraced so early. I’m proud of this record and the work that went into making it, and I’m proud that already it means something to my fans. Thanks to country radio for the support.”
While current single “I’ll Name the Dogs” is climbing the charts, there’s another song that Shelton says he hopes will be released as a single. “Why Me” is the second song he recorded for the album and the Oklahoma native says it’s as country as it gets.
“‘Why Me’ to me meets every country standard criteria for a just a great song,” he says. “It’s a great message; it speaks to guys being guys and, at the end of the day, as tough as it is [for a] man sometimes to talk about his feelings and be open about it, it’s great to have a song like ‘Why Me’ that can kind of say it for somebody.”
It is evident that girlfriend Gwen Stefani inspired some of the music on the album, including the sexy “Turnin’ Me On,” which Shelton started writing by himself on his bus in Baton Rouge.
“I was up there alone and I had my guitar, started playing a little melody that I was hearing in my head and next thing you know I started writing a song. I wrote a verse, then I wrote a chorus, then I realized it was going somewhere and I felt good about it,” he recalls. “Like I always [have] in the last couple of years I called up my friend Jessi Alexander and said, ‘Man, I think I’m onto something and I need somebody way better than me to try to bring this thing home.’ She and I and Josh Osborne ended up writing this song, I’m super proud of it – and it’s not hard to figure out who this song is about.”
While Shelton has made a name for himself in the Hollywood scene being a coach on The Voice, throughout Texoma Shore it is evident that he hasn’t left his country side behind. Standout songs like album closer “I Lived It” prove he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
“I feel like ‘I Lived It’ is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever had the chance to record,” Shelton confesses. “This is something that takes me back to my childhood and I think it’s going to take a lot of people back. As I’ve had the chance to play this album for people early on, that’s the song that really stands out to everybody… it’s hard to listen to without relating to it. It’s hard not to fall in love with this song.”
Shelton’s Texoma Shore is out now.