The modern scourge of “Bro-Country” is as infuriating as the Clear Channel is insidious. From the same four chords polished to a hospice-clean shine to the snoozing baritone of today’s newest star, it’s not the most flattering subgenre. Perhaps worst of all is the polished sex drive on display. The not-so-sly, half-winked innuendoes while still clasping onto the Bible and an AR-15 ring confusing and hollow. And it’s not like the grand majority of country music was ever afraid to get properly nasty. Maybe the music itself just needs to be less sterile for the hormones to flow. Parker Millsap certainly seems to think so with the lustful romp of Other Arrangements.

The title, at first, looks like a nudge to Millsap’s ever expanding repertoire of sound. Other Arrangements slinks through Staples Singers soulful swings, The Black Keys’ mud-crusted blues and a whooooooole lot of Bruce Springsteen. A fourth of the album has Millsap directly channeling the Boss. “Some People” is just a Born in the USA cut with Hoboken flipped for Dallas. “Gotta Get yo You” features Millsap doing his “I’m on fire” yelp, screaming he’s “battling the bleak abyss.” It’s all made glowing by his wavering tenor that’s still as worn as old leather soaked in whiskey. One day he’ll be in that Mark Lanegan mold of rumbly crooners, but for now he’s got some punk in those vocal cords.

With those Born to Run compositions, Millsap is working with more firepower than usual. Gleaming synths, fiery violin lines and full walls of amps are brought centerstage to reinforce his battle cries. Or, most times, his moans of seduction. “Good Day” is the least direct of the bunch, with flickering guitar lines and Millsap barely working above a coo. He describes “bodies bound by the sunrays” lounging pleasantly, if not with a bit of melancholy, after a long night and day of ignoring the world. Though “I strummed your strings/ And you started to sing” ain’t subtle and the song eventually bursts at the seams, with stomping kick drum, golden strings and clashing cymbals accompanying Millsap’s heavenly repose.

But that’s about the biggest pretense or sleight of hand he gives. “I needed a drink of your water,” he slurs on the Gospel-infused “Your Water.” Considering the musical backing, it could be taken as a saving grace, but “I bent down and cupped my hands in your water” takes the eyebrow wiggling up a notch. The title track has Millsap throwing out promises to a wayward lover who seems a bit too lackadaisical for his taste. It’s a confident, fiddle-fueled strut with some Everly Brothers falsetto and jingle-jangle rhythm and he’s clearly having a fun time being the tempter. “Honey don’t count me up/ I can still make you—scream and shout” he smirks. And I mean, “Coming On,” even with a purity-covered church chorus in the background, is pretty overt. “She” (unfortunately not a Green Day cover) is a smidgen less labido-focused, with a slicing guitar riff scoring Millsap’s sermon on how great his new lover is. She’ll be blushing, less from a slew of dirty jokes, and more from how much of a beaut’ the whole thing is.

But, if you know Millsap, he can’t leave things without a morose touch lingering. Closer “Come Back When You Can’t Stay” finds him using love as a prescribed cure for heartbreak. He takes some sweet young thing dancing, drinking, pays the bill and takes her to the hotel, only to start shuddering as she cuddles with him in the aftermath. “Sweetheart, please put on your pants/ And be movin’” he croaks. Much of the swagger that was dotting the album dissipates here, Millsap bearing his soul for his poor lover, a pawn in his larger move to get over his last pains. “Call me when you’re on the run” he cries over the harmonized chorus. Of course, that’s the downside of getting this real with sex. The hangover can hurt as much as the madness of love intoxicates.

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