David Nail owns a soulful voice custom-made for heart-tugging narratives, which is what he continues to concentrate on for his second album, "The Sound Of A Million Dreams."
The album's first hit, "Let It Rain," mines the same reflective melodrama found in his previous country radio favorites "Red Light" and "Turning Home." Most of "The Sound Of A Million Dreams" stays in that comfort zone, portraying Nail as a thoughtful guy who sings about mature relationships, whether it's hoping to reveal his feelings to someone he just met ("Catch You While I Can") or discovering he hasn't revealed enough to someone who has been in his life for years ("I Thought You Knew").
Working with producers Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainley and Glenn Worf - the same team behind Miranda Lambert's "Four The Record" - Nail leans on arrangements resembling the blend of pianos and orchestral strings that works so well for Lady Antebellum.
In the personal testimony of the ballad "Catherine" and the tender break-up song "That's How I'll Remember You," Nail brings out emotions with subtle expressiveness. At a time when country music overflows with macho bluster and vocal overkill, Nail is a restrained romantic - and that may be enough to set him apart.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: Nail lets loose only once on his new album, and that's on the bluesy roadhouse rocker "Grandpa's Farm." Reminiscent of classic Gulf Coast funk by Delbert McClinton or Little Feat, the song proves Nail sounds great on R&B-inflected tunes, a trait he ought to show more often.