Chris Young, "The Man I Want to Be"
Chris Young's previous single, the sultry "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)," earned the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native his first No. 1 country hit, and his follow-up also has the potential to reach the summit. Penned by Brett James and Tim Nichols, "The Man I Want to Be" is a thoughtful ballad written from the perspective of a man who knows he's made mistakes, as Young sings, "I want to be a good man/A do-like-I-should man/The kind of man the mirror likes to see." Young has a rich, resonant voice and delivers a potent vocal that is emotional, yet restrained. It's a remarkably seasoned performance by a young talent who has the vocal chops and sensibility to follow in the footsteps of his hero, Keith Whitley. Yes, that's high praise, but Young has earned it. -Deborah Evans Price