For reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton, the title of his new album -- "Based On A True Story" -- is about as realistic as it gets. The album, which is in stores Tuesday, is full of songs that the singer can identify with first hand.
"Every song on the album, I've either been through those situations, or I'm going through them right now," he recently admitted in a press event to promote the album. "Songs like 'Doin' What She Likes' or 'Ten Times Crazier' are where I'm at right now."
When the marketing department at Warner Brothers called asking Shelton's input on titling the album, the singer says he had his own ideas. "I didn't want to call it 'Boys 'Round Here' or 'Sure Be Cool If You Did,'" he said, referencing his most recent chart-topper with the latter -- the set's first single. "I always feel like a cop out when I name an album after one of the songs on it. I always look back and say to myself 'You wimped out there.' So, I listened to it, and thought 'This is my life -- from start to finish.' So, that's what we'll call it, we'll say it's based on a true story."
The album is decidedly slanted towards songs designed to put smiles on the faces of Shelton's strong fan base. One such track is "I Still Got A Finger," which Shelton says reminds him of a country classic from the 1970s.
"To me, it's like a new version of 'Take This Job And Shove It,'" he says. "It's probably a little edgier with the language being the major difference. Nobody really does that, but we all wish that we could. It's fun to sing about stuff like that. It makes you feel cocky," he confessed.
The singer is gearing up for one of his most extensive touring seasons in a while coming later this year with the 'Ten Times Crazier' tour. He lights up at the mention of the tour, though he says he hasn't done a lot of planning of his live show just yet.
"The only thing I've done is tried to put together a cool set list for it," he said, though he allowed there just might be a problem – albeit a good one. "It's neat to be at a place where you think 'Man, I can't do all of these singles.' To have that luxury, and to be that lucky is unbelievable to me. The first ten years of touring, we might do 'All My Ex's Live In Texas' or 'Friends In Low Places,' and that might get them going until we got to one of mine," he jokes.
In addition to the album, Shelton is also focused on the new season of "The Voice," which premieres tonight and features a couple of ambitious coaches in Shakira and Usher. He says they have upped the ante – in terms of competition.
"Adam (Levine) and I have always kind of lolly-gagged through this thing – not taking it too seriously or anything – just had fun with it. But, we got into the blind auditions, and Shakira and Usher were very serious and determined to win this thing. Adam and I looked at each other as if to say 'Damn. Alright. We see how it is now.' They've been paying attention. I guess I thought they would come rolling in like Cee Lo or Christina with all the gimmicks like they had, but they came in with one mission – to win this thing. I wouldn't be surprised if one of them does."
When asked about his future with the NBC hit, Shelton struck a rare serious note. "Something has to give at some point, as it's like trying to hold back a river. I've got to get back to what I love most – which is performing live. That's why I got into this business. But, I don't want to look back one day and say 'Oh, man. I wish I would have tried this or that to see what it would be like. 'The Voice' has been what has led to me a lot of those type things, like the Christmas special or Reba's show (Malibu Country). I can't even think of all the things I've gotten to do because of that. So, I don't want to just give it up. I can't imagine me just sitting out a season. I think I'm either going to do it and keep doing it, or not. I don't see me walking away then coming back. That doesn't make sense to me. I think it's a phase, and once that chapter is over, it's over."
- The 615