Blake Shelton may be waist deep in coaching his new team on NBC’s “The Voice,” but he’s hardly forgotten about his first career, and the one that has his heart, country music. And just to remind us of his loyalty to the format, he has released the new single, “God’s Country.”
Blake has done a pretty incredible job of showing a lot of diversity in his song choices, while still remaining true to the foundation of country music, and “God’s Country” only serves to continue showcasing that ability. Full of swampy production that is slightly reminiscent of “Ol’ Red,” the song has an edginess that is more magnified by a gritty, raw delivery from Blake. Hallelujah- gospel background vocalists add flair that just elevates the intensity of the message.
And, oh, that message. Blake has always been intensely dedicated to his rural roots. When haters, trolls, or tabloids have accused him of “going Hollywood,” either because of his involvement with”The Voice” or pop star girlfriend Gwen Stefani, he has vehemently denied it and taken a stand on his Oklahoma terra firma. The lyrics of “God’s Country” create a profound visual of that literal and metaphorical ground:
“We pray for rain and thank Him when it’s fallin’ / ‘Cause it brings a grain and a little bit of money / We put it back in a plate, I guess that’s why they call it / God’s country.”
“God’s Country” is the first release from what will be Blake’s twelfth studio album. While no title or release date has been announced yet, it would seem that it might come later in 2019. Although his incredibly popular “Friends and Heroes 2019” tour recently wrapped, Blake does still have a handful of dates on his calendar, including two shows with George Strait. Perhaps that means that, in addition to working his way towards another win on “The Voice,” he’s finishing up that new album.