Stories To Tell

An Album By

Dave Barnes

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When Dave Barnes sings, “Forgiveness is the chorus in our rebel song” during “White Flag,” it suggests one really smart songwriter. Although Barnes shows flashes of compositional intelligence, there just aren’t enough of these bright spots to recommend this entire collection of tunes. Also, with an album title like Stories to Tell, you would likely expect a whole lot more story songs. Although Blake Shelton has taken Barnes’ “God Gave Me You” to the top of the country charts, Barnes doesn’t necessarily fit into the country music storytelling tradition. He’s more comfortable, in fact, with the sort of blue-eyed soul created during the keyboard-driven “Heaven Help Me,” instead. It’s difficult – and probably downright wrong – to argue with the heartwarming sentiments expressed through love songs, such as “Love Will Be Enough for Us” and “Warm Heart in a Cold World,” it’s also tough to get too excited about these songs. Barnes may think he has many stories to tell, but no self-respecting reporter would find much of a compelling story here.

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