By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
But on Lucky Ones he fouls out, hitting the ceiling of his limited talents with a resounding thump on a set that's a turgid country-rock mishmash. Green swings for the fence on collaborations with co-writing slut Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 fame and sapmeister Radney Foster (who also contributes the title tune) and comes up with strings of clichés that would embarrass even a Hallmark writer. He nods to his "beer & bong crowd" base on "College," a co-write and duet with Brad Paisley that, for all its hooky groove, is little more than an ode to party-pig ignorance (though it does have a fitting line for the Dumbya years: "I learned almost everything that I know without ever gaining knowledge in college").
As Green trades verses with a real singer like Paisley, it only places in bold relief the limitations of his voice, which wears awfully thin by album's end. And to prove that his disaffected fans have a point, the best tracks on the disc are Texan: Green's take on Jack Ingram's "One Thing," even if it is a fuzzy Xerox of Ingram's original, and his bluesy co-write with Ray Wylie Hubbard, "Sweet Revenge."
Oh, maybe I should just shut my yap. After all, critics keep drinking the Kool-Aid. (A recent Fort Worth Star-Telegram review gushed over Green's live performance, equating him to no less than Willie Nelson.) But if anyone has a right to criticize Green, it would be those music fans whose money has lined the pockets of his jeans. "Pat Green was always my favorite artist but now I really am having problems," reads a customer review of Lucky Ones on LoneStarMusic.com. "This CD sucks and I am starting to think that now, so does Pat Green."
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