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Sunset Man

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Album Review

Of all the Big & Rich protégés — and as of 2008 there are too many to count, with only a capo or consigliere of the MuzikMafia being able to keep track — James Otto initially seems the closest to Kenny and John, as his second album, Sunset Man, kicks off with "Ain't Gonna Stop," the kind of party-pumping anthem that B&R have managed to turn from refreshing raunch to boring BS in just under five years. Otto gamely spits out Big Kenny's mock-macho lyrics — including the de rigueur referencing to rocking out at an "Ott-to show" — seemingly happy to be given another shot at the big leagues after having his 2004 debut, Days of Our Lives, sink without a trace, but fortunately for him and the rest of us Sunset Man doesn't dip all that often into MuzikMafia burlesque (toward the end of the album there's "Drink & Dial," a far better and funnier attempt at this blustering boogie). Instead, it quickly settles into a mellow, romantic groove, lingering on love songs. When the tempo does upshift, it's only a modest bump, as when "These Are the Good Ole Days" eases into second gear with its tuneful unhurried nostalgia, which helps give the impression that Otto is a reflective sort, whether he's ruminating on times passed or heartbreak (or on the easy-rolling title track, both). It all adds up to one of the sweeter MuzikMafia-related projects, one that has some genuine warmth and heart, and if it takes a boneheaded Big Kenny shuffle to sell this very endearing record to a wider audience, so be it: James Otto deserves a second chance and a little bit of pandering has never tarnished a good mainstream country album like this anyway.


Born: 29 July 1973 in Fort Lewis, WA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A country singer and songwriter with a Southern rock heart, James Otto was born into a military family at the Fort Lewis Army Base in Washington and grew up all over the U.S., including extended stays in North Dakota and Alabama. He started singing when he was only four years old, and learned both violin and saxophone before getting his first guitar at the age of 13. Both his father and grandfather were part-time musicians who played gigs in local bars, so music was hardly a foreign thing to Otto,...
Full bio
Sunset Man, James Otto
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  • 10,89 €
  • Genres: Country, Music, Contemporary Country
  • Released: 07 April 2008

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