In 1991, Brooks & Dunn made their country radio debut with “Brand New Man.” 25 years later, Ronnie Dunn approaches the release of his third solo studio album after the 2010 split with Kix Brooks. Tattooed Heart features 12 new tracks recorded by, in my opinion, the very best male vocalist in country music over the past quarter century. Sure, anything sounds good with Dunn’s voice behind it, but how does this record stack up as a whole?
The first single, “Ain’t No Trucks In Texas” was released to radio (though I sadly never heard it played locally) in 2015. I was admittedly a bit nervous when there wasn’t an album announced after the release of “Trucks,” because on occasion, if a song doesn’t chart, it would be left off of any forthcoming release. Thankfully, this heartbreaker of an opening track found a home here on Tattooed Heart.
Miss the classic Brooks and Dunn duets? “Damn Drunk” brings the duo back together as Kix joins in on backing vocals. The fact that this track has not yet reached the Top10 on country radio is an absolute shame. If you haven’t heard “Damn Drunk” yet, make sure to play the music video below. I’m willing to bet that you’ll be following that up with a click to get your order in for a copy of the disc or a digital download.
Other notable tracks, although they are all fantastic, include “Still Feels Like Mexico” featuring regular collaborator, Reba McEntire, “I Wanna Love Like That Again” and “She Don’t Honky-Tonk No More,” which were both written by Dunn himself. When I originally read in a press release that mistakenly stated that Ariana Grande would be featured on the album, I must say that I was a little bit nervous and surprised at the idea. However, the title track “Tattooed Heart” is indeed a cover of the Grande co-penned song. I know what you’re thinking, but rest assured. If you hadn’t known prior to hearing the track, it wouldn’t stick out from the collection of songs one bit!
“I branched out of my comfort zone while writing and listening to a ton of music. At the suggestion of my daughter, I even recorded an Ariana Grande song. Ironically, it became the title of the album.” – Ronnie Dunn
Sure, with all of the award show appearances, occasional summer festival performances and the ongoing stint in Las Vegas, I’d love to see Dunn return to record with Kix Brooks on a regular basis. However, if Ronnie is going to continue releasing the quality of country music that he has been putting out since the split, I’m ready to welcome every bit of it!
Ronnie Dunn’s Tattooed Heart releases this Friday, November 11th. Pre-order your copy via the Amazon link below on CD and Digital or Vinyl LP which hits stores in December. Follow Ronnie on Twitter: @RonnieDunn. Let us know what you think about the songs posted above and the album in whole in the comments below!