Amid a seemingly endless parade of promising country male vocalist breakthroughs this year, Jimmy Wayne stakes his own claim to star potential with his self-titled debut.

Amid a seemingly endless parade of promising country male vocalist breakthroughs this year, Jimmy Wayne stakes his own claim to star potential with his self-titled debut. "After You" percolates in a nicely syncopated fashion, and Wayne creates sweaty atmosphere in the ode to backwoods romance on "Trespassin'." He makes a bid for a holiday staple in "Paper Angels" and shows a way with a ballad in the redemptive "Stay Gone" and powerful "You Are." Indeed, the collection weighs a little ballad-heavy, but midtempos like the friendship anthem "Blue and Brown" and stronger material like the confessional "You're the One I'm Talking To" give the album heft. The record's most powerful cut is "The Rabbit," a tough-minded, tables-turned take on domestic violence. Wayne's troubled upbringing makes for a good story, and he has plenty strong enough chops to stick around awhile.—RW

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