Rodney Atkins, 'It's America' Norfolk Daily News Review

By: Carrie Pitzer
April 3, 2009
4 stars out of 4

With his ball cap, blue jeans and t-shirt, Rodney Atkins looks more like your best friend than an award-winning country singer. But he sounds like both, making his new album "It's America" on top of a short list of gotta-have-it albums of the year.

The blue-collar, everyday life lyrics could easily become repetitive, but Atkins' sincerity is unmatched. With co-producer Ted Hewitt, the pair keep a balance of fiddle and guitar throughout that rocks just enough for fun but not doesn't cross the line.

"Friends With Tractors," "Tell A Country Boy" and "Best Things" all hinge on the same tops in a slightly different way and all lend themselves to radio play.

The more sensitive "The River Knows" tells of a man wanting some alone time to fish the river, as does a soldier whose home to fight a rainbow trout rather than a war. The only problem Atkins has with the entire album is picking singles. A rarity these days, all cuts could chart. After one of the most successful albums in recent memory, it's hard to imagine an artist matching it with back-to-back albums. Atkins didn't - he surpassed it.