Owning more style and swagger than a dozen baby rock bands, Brooks & Dunn raise their own bar considerably with this new record.

Owning more style and swagger than a dozen baby rock bands, Brooks & Dunn raise their own bar considerably with this new record. The Stones-meets-Tulsa rave-ups "You Can't Take the Honky Tonky Out of the Girl" and "I Used to Know This Song by Heart" are seamlessly saddled alongside the backwoods funk of "Caroline" and the redemptive "That's What She Gets for Loving Me." Ronnie Dunn's lonesome moan is deservedly celebrated and in awesome form here, but Kix Brooks contributes mightily as well, particularly on the gently thrumming midtempo "When We Were Kings." Hammond-drenched gospel blues ("Believer") and intoxicating swamp-tonk ("My Baby's Everything I Love") also make appearances. In a career marked by success, this fearless duo serves up its coolest record yet.—RW