Colin Stough has already proven, despite his youth, to be a country artist of no small skill..

And his music comes from the heart, as he says himself: “Each one of these songs is a piece of my heart, and they outline trials and tribulations that I’ve been through personally. They’ve made me into who I am today,”

And although his appearance on American Idol would have done his profile no harm at all, the general vibe of “Lookin’ For Home” is one of total unrepentance: “As a matter of fact you can kiss my ass,’ he sings on “Boat Somewhere” and its perfect modern country.

And so’s the rest of it. The balladry on “”Makes Two Of Us” is as good as it gets. All over the world, there are people scrolling through their phones, looking at their ex’s name and thinking, “What’s the worst that can happen?” This one’s for them.

And the players that Stough has with him sparkle with quality. The solos are perfect, and when things get a little darker on “Amen,” he can handle that too.

As much as he’s country to his Stetson hat, Stough would make a brilliant blues singer too. His voice—utterly stunning—lends itself to the likes of “Sober.”

He co-writes all of these, which is both to his credit and unusual, and “Outside Looking In” is happy to take on the expectations of the arenas he will be playing.

And “Lookin’ For Home” is the work of the itinerant road dog, but whatever he’s searching for is in these songs.

Country’s next big thing? You’d be daft to bet against him.

Rating: 9/10

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