Blake Shelton’s If I’m Honest album is a musical diary of his past year. The bitter (yet comical) “She’s Got a Way With Words” and the remorseful “Bet You Still Think About Me” seemingly touch on some of his darkest days of 2015, as he split from wife of four years, Miranda Lambert. But with “Came Here to Forget,” the music turns a slow-burning corner, as he chronicles a rebound romance (now turned serious) with Gwen Stefani that has left him in a happier — and reflective — place.
“If you had told me a year ago the changes that would have happened in my life, I would have called you a liar,” he says. “And the surprise element, the ups and the downs, they’re all in this record. That’s why I’m calling it If I’m Honest, because I’m just telling it how I see it.”
But “the most important song,” according to Shelton, is one about a totally different relationship: his with God. Shelton co-wrote “Savior’s Shadow” with longtime friends Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall about turning to his faith to get through hard times. The song actually came to the singer in a dream during the demise of his marriage, and he took it as a sign from above that greener pastures were ahead.
Still, this is notorious good-time guy Blake Shelton we’re talking about, so If I’m Honest is not without its debauchery. “Straight Outta Cold Beer” is a nod to his carefree younger days, while a collaboration with the Oak Ridge Boys, “Doin’ It to Country Songs” is something even he says is “ridiculous” fun.