Long Walk Back by Junior Brown
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On Long Walk Back
, Junior Brown attempts to expand upon his signature sound: He leaps off into extended guitar jams; he accentuates the retro-novelty aspect of certain songs by adding anonymous background choruses; he even tries to croon a ballad. Unfortunately, the further he moves from concise honky-tonk shuffles and crisply written country tunes, the more he strays from what he does best. Long Walk Back
works wonderfully when Brown keeps a tight grip on both his talented, one-of-a-kind guitar technique and on his colorful baritone voice. But when he indulges his guitar prowess, or when his voice challenges its limitations, he leaves behind what makes him special. --Michael McCall