Almost Acceptable

Barry King

The former Charlie Daniels guitarist sings about achingly personal themes, like an older man looking back on his life and seeing it with equal shades of regret and joy. While the nostalgic tones are nice, that’s not to say they’re spoken with much elegance or invention. “B-17,” an ode to the war experience of King’s father, trudges along lifelessly as the singer moans awkwardly patriotic sentiments. By the time you get to the nine-minute “House on the Hill,” you wonder if this guy has ever heard the word metaphor. He doesn’t always miss, though: “High on Love” is a tender, poignant tale of a man taking stock of his life after a dark period. On “Turtlebug,” the album’s best, you can feel King’s joy as he recounts a day spent fishing with his grandson. When keeping things simple, King hits his mark. For most of the record, though, he shows why extra time writing lyrics is time well spent.