A Little More Livin'
Trent Willmon's rollicking sophomore album is likely the only country record you'll hear this year that references S&M (in "Surprise"). That subversive jolt isn't done in the name of shock but because it's one more telling detail in service to Willmon's well-observed domestic tales and celebrations of life -- nearly all of them songs you'll be happy to have in your life. The most dramatic is "Louisiana Rain," a long, blues-guitar-soaked ballad that lets Willmon show off his voice. The fiddle-propelled "So Am I," which speaks knowingly of the joys of being poor and in love, is perhaps the happiest three minutes-plus on a country record this year. Too bad "A Night in the Ground" is too literal and just plain creepy to be rousing. But it's only one clunker in a nice collection of winners. ("Good One Comin' On," "So Am I," "Surprise") -- WT