Blake Shelton is known for his quick wit and fun-loving personality, but one thing Shelton takes very seriously is his music. This is especially true with his new album, If I’m Honest, a 15-song collection due May 20 that Shelton said needed every song to fully represent his journey over the past year.
“I’ve never made a record with that many songs on it. We really sat down and went, ‘OK, what are we not going to put on this record?, and it led to some of the biggest fights that we’ve had as a team,” Shelton said of the passionate battles with his management and record label. “And I’m not kidding – full-on, have-to-leave-the-room arguments – till we finally went, ‘You know what? We all have our favorites and if they mean that much to all of us, let’s put ‘em all on it.’ And it’s true, screw it, who cares?”
Four songs from the album have been released so far including the Top 5 (and climbing) single “Came Here to Forget” which he will perform on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Friday.
Shelton has also dropped “Savior’s Shadow,” the gospel/hymn song he wrote that has already hit #1 on the iTunes Christian chart. Also available is “Friends,” the feature song from the Angry Birds Movie which is out nationwide next week.
And he performed “Go Ahead and Break My Heart,” the stunning duet co-written and recorded with Gwen Stefani, Monday night on The Voice. The track is available as an instant download when fans preorder If I’m Honest on iTunes. The album will be an Apple Music and iTunes exclusive for digital sales and streaming the first week of release before moving to all digital retailers on May 27.
“Go Ahead and Break My Heart” isn’t the only celebrity duet for Shelton on If I’m Honest. Shelton is excited to reveal that lifelong favorites The Oak Ridge Boys will be special guests on the comic “Doing It to Country Songs.” The song, written by Shelton favorite Paul Overstreet, amounted to a ton of fun in the studio – thanks to the indefatigable Country Music Hall of Fame quartet of Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, Willian Lee Golden and Richard Sterban.
“They are so sweet and so professional and they work so hard,” Shelton said. “We finally had to go like, ‘Guys, it’s good, it’s good enough! I mean, you can’t get it better!’ until finally it’s like, ‘Man, I’m tired! You guys nailed it on the second take anyway.’ But they were having so much fun and they just wanted it to be as good as it can be, and this is one of the most special moments of my career to be able to have a duet with The Oak Ridge Boys.”
And while it’s not a duet, “Every Time I Hear That Song” does feature the heavy influence of an ironic source.
”It’s not like anything else I’ve ever recorded before and I’ll be totally honest – as hard as it is for me to say this – it’s got a little Adam Levine influence in it,” Shelton said. “It’s hard to admit. I hope he doesn’t read this because he’d be like, ‘Hahahahahahaha! I’m your hero!’ But melodically it kind of reminds me of something he would do. It’s obviously country, but when people hear the song, they’ll understand what I’m talking about if they’re familiar with his music.”
Shelton will share more personal insights about his new music over the next week days as he prepares to release If I’m Honest. Fans can also learn more about Shelton when the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, opens Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story on May 27. The exhibition will examine the star’s road to success, from his childhood to his move to Nashville as a teen, and from his multi-platinum recording breakthrough to becoming a national celebrity. A range of artifacts, including stage wear, instruments, song manuscripts, photos and personal items will help tell Shelton’s story.
And he’ll hit the road on the fall leg of the 2016 Blake Shelton Tour Presented by Gildan in September, kicking off the run in his home state of Oklahoma. For tour dates, tickets and the latest news and information, be sure to follow @blakeshelton on Twitter and stay tuned to BlakeShelton.com.
If I’m Honest track list:
1. Straight Outta Cold Beer
2. She’s Got A Way With Words
3. Bet You Still Think About Me
4. Every Time I Hear That Song
5. Came Here To Forget
6. Every Goodbye
7. It Ain’t Easy
8. A Guy With A Girl
9. Go Ahead And Break My Heart (Featuring Gwen Stefani)
10. Friends (from The Angry Birds Movie)
11. One Night Girl
12. Doing It To Country Songs (Featuring The Oak Ridge Boys)
14. You Can’t Make This Up
15. Savior’s Shadow