Trace Adkins will turn 50 this January.
That’s a big age for most people and for Trace it seems he’s still the same guy he was when he first came on the country scene back in the ’90s. There aren’t many acts still around from that era. Toby Keith, Trace’s label owner, is one of the guys still kicking around.
By my count, Proud To Be Here Trace’s 10th studio album. Mixed in there are a couple Greatest Hits packages. For 15 years now we’ve had the pleasure of listening to Trace’s music. He’s mixed bravado with sultry with romantic and sentimental and has thrown in some goofy songs to boot. It’s been a good mix and one thing remains true – when you hear a Trace Adkins song on the radio you know immediately it’s his.
Trace is still making good music and appears ready to tackle his 50s with energy. By the sounds of his latest album there should be some good songs coming out as singles in 2012.
Proud To Be Here by Trace Adkins – Album Review
As we get older we start to think back on our lives. For Trace Adkins it seems he’s settling down a bit. He’s had his brushes with fate over the years including a few shots to the chest and most recently a house fire that completely wiped out his family home (thankfully nobody was hurt). On Proud To Be Here it’s obvious Trace has talent for finding great country songs that play to his strengths.
It’s been a simple formula for Trace Adkins over the years. He finds good songs that make sense for his personality. He’s a guy’s guy that can turn on the sentimental side once in a while. There’s also a little goofiness to him and when all put together there really is no artist quite like Trace Adkins.
Here are my thoughts on his latest and one of his best studio sets.
1. Proud To Be Here
There is no doubt Trace has had a few close calls with death over the years. If there is anyone he that can speak to being proud to be alive and here on Earth it’s Trace. This song is a great way to start off the album. He’s had brushes with the law. He’s brushed with drinking and tequila in particular. Now he seems to have settled down some as he reaches 50 years in age. He seems to be happy with his family, his life, and most importantly, himself.
2. Million Dollar View
It excites me when I see David Lee Murphy as the co-writer one a song. That’s what we are blessed with on this song. As expected, the song has a great melody. It’s fun. It’s upbeat. The song is about having a million dollar view right at home. A guy can have his family and his little home. It doesn’t take too much to find happiness. You don’t have to pay a million bucks to be high on some hill or mountain. You don’t have to be on the beach somewhere. As long as you have the love of your life to come home to every night you’ll find plenty of happiness. Really great song.
3. Days Like This
This kind of country song makes me smile. I grew up on the lake. There are a few memories of getting up early with my dad and having a few cups of coffee as the low fog crawled its way out of the bay. There is nothing quite like it. Sometimes you just need to take what the day gives you. And when the day gives you something good it doesn’t even pay to focus on the negative things. You can fight and argue all you want, but in the end it’s all wasted breaths. Focus on the important things and focus on the positives. That’s the kind of day it is. This is my favorite song on the entire album.
4. That’s What You Get
The music on this song is what stands out. It’s upbeat. It sounds like a hit from the get go. Trace plays the part of the guy stopping off to get some roses for his baby. He’s ready to do anything for his woman. She’s there for him all the time and he’s showing her he’s there to do the same. There are quite a few loves songs on this album. Maybe Trace is showing off his loving side on this set. He seems to be happy with life right now and it’s showing through on this record. It’s a solid set of songs and this sounds like a solid hit.
5. Just Fishin’
This was the first big smash hit from the album. Trace, a father of a few daughters, plays the part of the dad taking his daughter fishing perfect. It’s a sentimental song and really connected with tons of parents and children out there. One thing I love about country is how it allows the best artists to age. As Trace reaches his late adulthood he’s finding a new niche as the loving dad and husband on the radio. Fans are loving it and the formula should work for Trace for many more years.
6. It’s a Woman Thang
Here’s the Trace we remember – the goofy side of Trace. The song is a little out there from the music side of things. It’s a little far fetched for a country song, but I like it. Trace sings to his woman. He can’t understand all the crazy things they do. Men can relate. Maybe we just don’t understand. There must be a method to all the madness and we still love women no matter what. I could see this track being a single. You can’t beat Trace raising that voice up there to sound like a woman. It’s great and even more important, unexpected.
7. Love Buzz
This one’s a little slow and sensual. This side of Trace has also come out from Trace over the years. That deep voice gets down real low and speaks right to the women in the audience. I like this song. It’s romantic. Not too many guys can pull this one off like Trace. It’s a well played song on this record. It should work well to get things hot and spicy back at home. It’s a good mix of being a good dad and still keeping the fire burning at home.
8. It’s Who You Know
It could have been a cliche, but I think Trace pulled it off well. The song is about how you can work hard and still struggle to find success and respect in this life. You gotta know a few people in life to make it or so it seems. I’m not sure that’s how it always works. I still believe in working hard and earning respect over time. It does help to get lucky with the people you meet, though.
9. Poor Folks
Now this is my kind of country song. Styrofoam coolers. Rusty trucks. A few cold beers. It doesn’t get any better than that. This is how the poor folks do it on the weekends. You grab the poles and head to the lake and spend the entire afternoon there. Those poor folks in town don’t know what they’re missing. I like getting lost on the backroads and just kicking the dirt and spending time with a few friends or just with the girl of my dreams. That’s how it works in the country. Darn those poor folks in the city; the ones that ain’t got nothing.
10. Always Gonna Be That Way
Farm songs will always be special to me. Some of my best memories have been working on the farm. I didn’t do much of it, but it was always rewarding to hit the farm, do work around the house, work in the fields, and some hunting in the fall. This song is about all the things in life that will never change. Kids will always do things kids do. Guys and gals will always do the same things they’ve always done. We’ll always have the same habits. That’s what makes each of us great. Some things never change.
11. Damn You Bubba
This one’s a little quirky. It’s a funny story song. A guy is hitting on this real good looking gal. Then out of nowhere in comes Bubba and steals the girl away. Don’t we all know a guy like that? I know I’ve known a few. They take the confidence right away from the other guys in the room. The bar is set pretty low for this Bubba, though. He’s got a job and sharp looking Cadillac. And the worst part is he doesn’t even need a wingman. Damn you Bubba.
12. More Of Us
Trace loves his god. He loves his country. He thinks of them as one in the same. Trace is proud of who he is and what he believes in. He might piss off more than a few people, but his beliefs endear him to those that feel the same way. It’s a great way to find success and find your real passionate fans. that’s what this song is about – finding more of those folks just like Trace.
13. If I Was A Woman featuring Blake Shelton
When you see the name Blake Shelton on the record something crazy is going to happen. They’re singing about being women, but man they still make time to focus on themselves. They’d want women just like them. I guess that’s how it works when you’ve got everything you could need like these two guys. The song is all in fun and you gotta smile right along with these two buddies. Good country fun right here.
14. Semper Fi
For the final track on the Deluxe Package of this record Trace sings once again about the military he loves. It’s a story song about a guy hitting the road and joining up. Some folks will really connect with this one.
Download Proud To Be Here by Trace Adkins
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