An earnest South Carolinian with a resonant baritone expressive beyond his years, Josh Turner emerges on MCA with a solid collection of songs, many of them self-penned.

An earnest South Carolinian with a resonant baritone expressive beyond his years, Josh Turner emerges on MCA with a solid collection of songs, many of them self-penned. One of those is the flawlessly produced title cut that begins the record, a timeless cautionary tale with a gospel flavor that gives Turner instant credibility. "In My Dreams" and the easy-rollin' "Jacksonville" are well-rendered ballads, and a reverb-drenched reworking of Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" is an inspired choice. Turner also fares well when he cranks up the tempo, as on the twangy "What It Ain't" and the shuffling "Good Woman Bad." Bobby Braddock's "The Difference Between a Woman and a Man" closes the album with grace and style, the coda for a fine debut.—RW