Album Review: Mike Runnels "The Tender Years"

Mike Runnels never fails to impress with his understated country music vocals. And Runnels' new album, "The Tender Years," continues his tradition of country music excellence with ten tracks that impress on all levels.
The album begins with the melodic "Cheatin' Side Of Town" which deserves country radio attention. The equally pleasing "We'll Find A Way" is also a toe-tapping delight.

However, Mike Runnels shines on slow ballads like "Last Date" and "Now You Know." The Roy Orbison-esque "Just Say So Baby" is Mike Runnels' shining moment on the album. It oozes easy-going musical confidence and could warm the hardest of hearts.

Mike Runnels channels an alt-country vibe with "Sweetheart." Likewise, "I Love You More" has a cool Dwight Yoakam meets Hank Williams sound that works. "Do You Feel The Same" and "Fourteen Karat Gold" are also solid efforts.

One of the best performances is saved for last with the cut "This Time." What's great about this track is that Runnels combines the finest elements of his considerable talents to create a song that will stand the test of time.

Mike Runnels "The Tender Years" is not for everyone. You see, many of today's "country fans" seem only to want prefabricated pop stars with a cowboy hat. If that's your taste, stay far, far away from "The Tender Years." But if you like country legends of the past with timeless lyrics meant for today, then Mike Runnels "The Tender Years" should definitely be on your musical radar.