Personnel: Ilya Toshinskiy, Danny Rader (acoustic guitar); Derek Wells, Dann Huff, Kenny Greenberg, Tom Bukovac (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Charlie Judge (keyboards); Chris McHugh (drums); David Huff (programming); Jessie James Decker, Russell Terrell (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Justin Niebank.
Recording information: Blackbird Studios, Nashville, TN; RTBGV.
Photographer: Joseph Llanes.
As far back as the Beach Boys, the term Endless Summer evoked ceaseless good times, and while Billy Currington doesn't sound a thing like the boys from Hawthorne, California, he borrows that sensibility for 2015's Summer Forever. Pivoting off the loping come-on of his 2013 hit "Hey Girl," Currington decides to keep things light and laid-back, flirting with a bit of hip-hop on the title track and the gamely goofy "Soundtrack," but such slight departures only serve to highlight how he's generally decided to keep things genial and familiar throughout Summer Forever. Nothing here is pushed too hard, not the joke on "Drinkin' Town with a Football Problem" nor the romance on "Do I Make You Wanna," and that nonchalance is the key to Currington's appeal: he cares but he's casual, letting his low-key charisma sell the song but never drawing attention to himself. Much of Summer Forever marries this personality to solid songs -- sometimes they get a little silly, as on the mall-country anthem "Don't It," but even those tunes benefit from the omnipresent chill -- and that means this is as relaxing as a warm breeze but also sturdy, delivering good times as assuredly on the seventh play as it does on the first. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine