Randy Travis' Around The Bend Makes It Debut At #3!
Around The Bend, has made its debut on the country music charts in the #3 spot! Only to be preceded by albums from fellow artist, Taylor Swift, who claimed spots 1 and 2. Around The Bend has also made a very strong entrance on to the Billboard Top 200 chart coming in at #14! This is Randy's highest chart debut ever! Congratulations Randy! If you still haven't picked up Around The Bend read what others are saying about it in the following reviews:
Back To Reclaim His Throne
By Stuart Munro
Globe Correspondent / July 22, 2008
Around the Bend (Warner Nashville)
ESSENTIAL "From Your Knees"
More than 20 years ago, Randy Travis became a star and one of the most enduring voices in modern mainstream country music by spearheading a return to traditionalism, but he's turned his attention elsewhere this decade with a string of gospel records. This new country album, then, is also something of a return for Travis. But it isn't simply a return to what he's done in the past, although it isn't a radical departure, either, notwithstanding the presence of songs like the first single, "Faith in You," a piece of pop piano balladry wrapped in a surfeit of strings. Rather, Travis has incorporated elements that contemporize and vary his traditional sound. He's working similar territory as young'uns like Joe Nichols and Josh Turner via a mix of intense balladry ("From Your Knees," a song that gives voice to an edgy desperation worthy of George Jones), lighter fare [the wry "Everything I Own (Has Got a Dent)"], and uptempo twang ("'Til I'm Dead and Gone," a locomotive of a song that rides a railroad beat and an extended, fierce electric guitar line). His interpretive use of his rich, burnished baritone has never been better, and that remarkable voice is still a force to be reckoned with.
Around the Bend
After a decade of helping set the popular standard of country music, Randy Travis made a quiet transition to gospel and crafted some of his most personable, appealing records. He nods to the mainstream once again while still very much doing his own thing with "Around the Bend," a collection that finds the 49-year-old singer laudably unchanged on tunes that are comfortably quaint and rich with homespun charm.
His method is different from what passes for commercial country today. He applies his pliable baritone to the breezy hook of "Love Is a Gamble" and latches onto the simple ballad "Dig Two Graves." He performs convincingly on the contemplative "You Didn't Have a Good Time" and in rendering "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," he's more playful and friendly than Bob Dylan likely ever imagined.
His values come through in the innocent amusements of "Every Head Bowed" and in the trickling blend of piano and whining pedal-steel guitar in the swelled choruses of "Faith in You." He guides all of it with the surest of hands, a gentle vocal authority that is pure, pretension-free country and a worthy centerpiece for classically tasteful arrangements that should never go out of style.
Essential download: "Love is a Gamble"
-- Thomas Kintner
By MICHAEL McCALL, The Associated Press
Randy Travis, "Around The Bend" (Warner Bros.)
When '80s country star Randy Travis mounted a successful comeback in 2002, he did so by singing gospel music to a country beat, a gambit he repeated over several successive albums. Therefore, his solid new album, "Around The Bend," is being billed as his first country music album in eight years.
In truth, he doesn't completely abandon spiritual themes; "Faith In You," "Love Is A Gamble" and "From Your Knees" feature Christian messages, or at least can be translated as such. Even the playful "Every Head Bowed" spends a good amount of time in church, albeit from the point of view of a young boy who's grumbling stomach has him praying for preacher to adjourn so the family can head out to eat. But the good news for country fans is that one of modern country's most effective translators of hurting songs once again tackles themes of heartache and loss. The album's most unforgettable tune, "You Didn't Have A Good Time," dresses down a man who has lost most everything except the empty bottles piled around his home. Hopefully country radio will embrace this secular triumph just as it did his spiritual ones.
CHECK THIS OUT: In the album's most surprising moment, this down-home country singer turns Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" into a jaunty acoustic tune that would've drawn shout-outs amid a Greenwich Village hoedown 40-some years ago.
Article published Sunday, July 20, 2008
Sounds: Randy Travis goes back to country
AROUND THE BEND Randy Travis (Warner Bros. Nashville)
Travis' deep, resonant baritone seems to come from the floor below, and on this new release it's as mellow and smooth as ever. In his first country album in eight years, Travis returns to his roots - traditional country, mostly ballads, with heartfelt delivery and messages.
So far this century, he has concentrated on gospel albums, very successfully, too, picking up several Grammys and assorted awards for them. He now plans to alternate country and gospel releases. The 11 songs here are hard-core country, yet there's still a tinge of gospel in many of them.
Since his multi-platinum smash debut in 1986, "Storms of Life," Travis has etched his memorable, distinctive voice into the minds of country fans worldwide. Besides recording a large repertoire of hits that have become country anthems, he has appeared in many films and television shows. Music lovers can be grateful that he hasn't forsaken his main job.
- KEN ROSENBAUM
Randy Travis, "Around the Bend" (Warner Bros.)
Ever since Travis came onto the country scene in the 1980s, he has shown a remarkable ability to latch onto sterling material, but too often he sounded wooden. Now 49, Travis sounds positively human in his first straight country album in eight years. Apparently he found something vivifying in the gospel music in which he immersed himself for his past several outings.
His oaky baritone remains a rich sonic force, but he has figured out how to bring spontaneous emotion through lively swoops and dives as he negotiates melodies, adding a few twists and turns to what the writers gave him to work with. As Waylon Jennings famously said about Porter Wagoner, Travis is a country traditionalist who couldn't go pop with a mouthful of firecrackers. The songs reflect that, hewing to timeless themes of loss ("Dig Two Graves"), sin ("You Didn't Have a Good Time" and the more lighthearted "Every Head Bowed") and redemption (the title track, "Turn It Around").
RANDY LEWIS, LOS ANGELES TIMES