Halfway to Heaven
With that Harley Davidson and crucifix juxtaposed on the cover of Brantley Gilbert’s Halfway to Heaven, it’s safe to assume that sin and redemption play a recurring theme on the country rocker’s sophomore long-player. “Hell On Wheels” kickstarts the album with snarling guitar and backwoods banjo accompanying Gilbert’s smoky rasp. “Bending the Rules and Breaking the Law” aims for outlaw anthem status as does the simmering “Country Must Be Country Wide,” where he name-checks “Cash, Hank, Willie and Waylon” – though it’s the harder rocking “Kick It In the Sticks” that sounds more convincing. Gilbert still sounds rough around the edges on the slow-burning ballad “My Kind Of Crazy,” where he romantically pines for a gal who seems more high maintenance than a V-twin engine.