Everything Is Fine
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Oct
- Everything Is Fine
- Another Try
- So Not My Baby
- Baby, I Go Crazy
- Nowhere Fast
- The Longer the Waiting (The Sweeter the Kiss)
- One Woman Man
- The Way He Was Raised
- South Carolina Low Country
Josh Turner's debut performance in 2001 was the stuff that legends are made of—a no-name talent takes the stage at the Grand Ole Opry and leaves with a standing ovation, an encore, and before long, a record deal. His first album, 2003's Long Black Train, would move more than a million copies; 2006's Your Man sold twice as well. Why the hubbub? Many consider Turner one of the key artists in putting the country back into country music with his very old-fashioned and easy-going approach. It also doesn't hurt to have an outstanding deep bass either, reminiscent of Randy Travis and Johnny Cash.
Turner's third effort Everything Is Fine follows through with more of the same. Pedal steel, fiddle, and banjo all comfortably reside with electric guitars to capture that classic country sound, whether its a fast honky-tonk rocker like "Trailerhood" and "One Woman Man," or a tender ballad like "The Longer the Waiting," or his lovelorn duet with Trisha Yearwood, "Another Try." There's a delightfully soulful feel to "So Not My Baby," but it doesn't translate as well to "Nowhere Fast," a Prodigal's lament featuring R&B singer Anthony Hamilton.
The new country sensation also writes more of his songs this time—7 of 12, to be exact—many of them love songs to his wife, Jennifer. Some are a bit steamy (like "Baby, I Go Crazy" and the radio single "Firecracker") in the same way that got Charlie Peacock and Bill Mallonee into trouble for songwriting based on Song of Solomon. But it's hard to take offense to such tracks in the context of marriage, reflected throughout, and most poignantly expressed in the spiritually minded "Soulmate."
Faith is a recurring theme as well, the title track a perfect illustration of everyday contentment that Turner attributes to God: "Through the sunshine and the rain/I got a peace of mind you know I can't complain/I make it a point to thank the Lord when I got Him on the line/I'm feeling good and everything is fine." And then there's "The Way He Was Raised, a rather schmaltzy depiction of Jesus' life set to country music cliché s that still beautifully expresses the gospel and cleverly gives double meaning to the word "raised." All in all, this album is a pleasant, charming country effort that shows Turner adept at expressing the sacred alongside the secular at the height of his fame.