Brand New Man

On their debut album, Brand New Man, singer-songwriters Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn sound imitative but also smart enough to figure out exactly what the yahoo faction of the country audience wants to hear. Their No. 1 hit, ”Brand New Man,” a gentle country-rocker, manages to mix almost all of the stereotypical Southern comforts and fears: It’s a hellfire vocal laid over a lyric about baptism, beer joints, and rebirth through a good woman’s love. There’s even the famous Hank Williams Sr. lyric, ”I saw the light,” thrown in for good measure. The debt to Hank comes through still more clearly on the duo’s better songs, ”Cheating on the Blues” and ”I’m No Good,” both of which re-create the mournful sound of Williams’ hillbilly honky-tonk. From there, though, it all goes astray. Brooks & Dunn may have a brand new act, but their shtick is as old as the hills. C

Brand New Man
  • Music