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Easy Does It

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Album Review

Everything about Jake Owen is a testament to Nashville's image of an everyday all-American. He has an ordinary name, he's hunky but not threatening, he has facial hair as sculpted as his biceps, he has a warm, friendly voice that is as suited for sentiment as it is for hoisting a frosty bottle of American beer. There's not a thing that's surprising about Jake Owen, either on his 2006 debut or this, his 2009 follow-up, that replicates the formula of his first to the letter, going so far as to offer a new version of "Eight Second Ride," presumably following the assumption that if it produced a modest success the first time around, things will get better the next time. Musically, that's pretty much true: Easy Does It gets the balance of sports bar anthems, radio ballads, and Sunday sentiment right, hitting every cliché perhaps a bit too on the nose but effectively nonetheless. Complaining that this is a bit too familiar is beside the point because this is music meant to be familiar, to fit into pre-carved niches for Friday nights and Monday mornings, and it works not because the songs are great — at their best they're sturdy, at their worst they're workaday — but because the production is clean and uncluttered, focused directly on Jake Owen's warm, welcoming voice. Owen doesn't really look like a guy next door — he's too hunky by far — but he does sound like the homecoming king from a small town, a guy comfortable with posing in the spotlight without looking like he's posing, and it's this easy charm that turns Easy Does It into an effective piece of country-pop product.


Born: 28 August 1981 in Vero Beach, FL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When plans for a professional golfing career were derailed by an injury, country songwriter Jake Owen picked up a guitar and never looked back. A native of Vero Beach, Florida, Owen and his fraternal twin Jarrod grew up in the Florida sun playing sports like baseball and football before Jake turned to golf and Jarrod to tennis. They continued their respective sports together as students at Florida State University, until a water-skiing accident resulted in reconstructive surgery for Jake. Off the...
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Easy Does It, Jake Owen
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