Mark Wills' fourth Mercury set finds the singer in familiar territory, with a well-produced mix of radio-ready ballads and meaty midtempos.
Mark Wills' fourth Mercury set finds the singer in familiar territory, with a well-produced mix of radio-ready ballads and meaty midtempos. It sounds great, beginning with the title cut, a driving power ballad with some nice percussive elements and an accessible, if unremarkable, vocal from Wills. The singer charms with a down-home vocal style on such likable songs as "One of These Days," the witty "I Hate Chicago," and the well-meaning if simplistic "In My Heaven." A high point is the Skip Ewing/Donny Kees homesick ballad "Back on Earth," which features a strong, heartfelt Wills vocal. Elsewhere, production and musicianship outshine vocals and lyrical content on such forgettable ballads as "Universe," "Somebody," and "Lost in a Kiss"; a goofy Wills vocal can't save the cliché-ridden "I'll Be Around." Wills has always had a knack for tear-jerkers, and he offers a real weeper here with "The Balloon Song." In sum, it's a solid commercial effort, but the package offers little that would motivate one to push "play" a year from now.—RW