Red River Blue

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Red River Blue
Studio album by Blake Shelton
Released July 12, 2011 (2011-07-12)
Genre Country
Length 38:08
Label Warner Bros. Nashville
Producer Scott Hendricks
Blake Shelton chronology
Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton
(2010)Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton2010
Red River Blue
Cheers, It's Christmas
(2012)Cheers, It's Christmas2012
Singles from Red River Blue
  1. "Honey Bee"
    Released: April 4, 2011
  2. "God Gave Me You"
    Released: July 25, 2011
  3. "Drink on It"
    Released: January 9, 2012
  4. "Over"
    Released: May 21, 2012

Red River Blue is the sixth studio album by American country music artist Blake Shelton. It was released on July 12, 2011, via Warner Bros. Records,[1] and is Shelton's inaugural No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, debuting at the top spot on July 30, 2011.[2] Its first single, "Honey Bee," peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.[3] The album's second single is "God Gave Me You", written and originally recorded by Christian rock singer Dave Barnes.[4] The title track is a duet with Shelton's former wife and fellow country singer Miranda Lambert.[5]



The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number one with 116,000 sold in the US in its debut week.[6] It is Blake Shelton's highest charting album and his first album to reach number one on this chart.[7] As of March 2015, the album has sold 1,240,000 copies in the US.[8] In 2016, it was certified double-platinum with sales of 2,000,000 units.[9]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (62/100)[10]
Review scores
Source Rating 4/5 stars[11]
AllMusic 3/5 stars[12]
American Songwriter 3.5/5 stars[13]
Nashville Country Club 4/5 stars[14]
PopMatters 5/10 stars[15]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[16]
Roughstock 4/5 stars[17]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[18]
Taste of Country 5/5 stars[19]
Urban Country News 4/5 stars[20]
USA Today 3/4 stars[21]

Red River Blue received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 62, based on 9 reviews.[10]

The positive reviews came in from, American Songwriter Entertainment Weekly, Nashville Country Club, Roughstock, Taste of Country, Urban Country News and the USA Today. Critic Scott Sexton of rated the album a four out of five stars, and called this effort "Blake Shelton being at the top of his game".[11] Critic Allen Morrison of American Songwriter rated the album a three and a half out of five stars, and evoked how "Red River Blue should do nothing to slow his momentum."[13] Critic Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly graded the album a B, and exclaimed "Aww!"[22] Emily Wetta music critic for Nashville Country Club wrote that "While most of the songs have a word or phrase that is continually repeated, it still won’t stop you from listening to the album on repeat. With heart warming love songs and the occasional feel good song, Red River Blue has great balance. Full of honest and raw emotion, Blake wins the hearts of all women and with songs like 'Get Some' wins the male audience."[14] Roughstock critic Matt Bjorke rated the album a four out of five stars, and called the album "...a collection of songs that may be the most satisfying album of Blake Shelton’s career."[17] Music-critic Billy Dukes of Taste of Country rated the album as being perfect, and said "‘Red River Blue’ is Shelton hitting a homerun [sic] in a clutch situation as the eyes of the country music world are bearing down on him."[19] Liv Carter music critic for Urban Christian News wrote "Red River Blue shows Shelton has reached the point in his career where he does exactly what he wants. Well put-together, greatly executed and (mostly) well-written...Red River Blue is a confident, contemporary country album which will cement Blake Shelton’s country superstar status."[20] Music critic Brian Mansfield from USA Today wrote that "Longtime fans can hear Red River Blue's roguishly charming performances and feel confident that the Country Music Association's male vocalist of the year will find his biggest success."[21]

However, the album had some mixed reviews come in from AllMusic, The A.V. Club, PopMatters, Rolling Stone and Slant Magazine. Critic Thom Jurek of AllMusic rated the album a three out of five stars, and called the album "uncharacteristically tender."[12] The A.V. Club critic Steven Hyden gave the album a C grade, and commented that "He's in the creamy, mushy middle, which is exactly where he aims on Red River Blue."[23] Critic Dave Heaton of PopMatters gave the album a five out of ten stars, and noted that "Red River Blue's songs generally feel both cynical and overly familiar".[15] Rolling Stone music critic Will Hermes rated the album a two and a half out of five stars, and wrote that "Red River Blue is unlikely to offend anyone...[and it] shows similarly versatile market savvy."[16] Likewise, critic Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine gave it the same rating, and criticized the album because it "...proves that he's a capable singer who chooses to sing some lackluster songs."[18]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Honey Bee" Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip 3:30
2. "Ready to Roll" Jim Beavers, Jonathan Singleton, Chris Stapleton 3:36
3. "God Gave Me You" Dave Barnes 3:50
4. "Get Some" Zac Maloy, Chris Tompkins, Craig Wiseman 3:32
5. "Drink on It" Jessi Alexander, Rodney Clawson, Jon Randall 3:31
6. "Good Ol' Boys" Dallas Davidson 3:08
7. "I'm Sorry" (featuring Martina McBride) Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley, Stapleton 3:29
8. "Sunny in Seattle" Beavers, DuBois, Stapleton 3:27
9. "Over" Paul Jenkins, David Elliott Johnson 3:13
10. "Hey" Clint Lagerberg, Tompkins, Wiseman 3:31
11. "Red River Blue" (duet with Miranda Lambert) Ray Stephenson, Buddy Owens 3:21
Total length: 38:08


Chart performance[edit]


Chart (2011) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart[24] 13
US Billboard 200[2] 1
US Billboard Top Country Albums[2] 1


Year Single Peak chart positions
2011 "Honey Bee"[25] 1 13 28
"God Gave Me You"[26] 1 22 29 38
2012 "Drink on It" 1 39 53
"Over" 1 43 59
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[27] 2× Platinum


  1. ^ Wyland, Sarah (May 20, 2011). "Blake Shelton to Release Red River Blue on July 12". Great American Country. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Blake Shelton's 'River' Runs to No. 1 on Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ Hughes, Donna (June 13, 2011). "Blake Shelton's Chart-Topping 'Honey Bee' Is a 'No-Brainer'". The Boot. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Blake Shelton, 'God Gave Me You' -- Exclusive Song Premiere". The Boot. July 6, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ Sciaretto, Amy (June 17, 2011). "Blake Shelton Reveals Track List of New Album 'Red River Blue'". Taste of Country. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ Melinda Newman (July 20, 2011). "Blake Shelton's 'Red River Blue' flows to No. 1 on Billboard 200". Hitfix. 
  7. ^ Gil Kaufman (July 20, 2011). "Blake Shelton, Incubus Take Over Billboard Chart". MTV. 
  8. ^ Keith Claufield (March 14, 2015). "Billboard 200 Chart Moves: 'Hozier' Has Sold a Half-Million". Billboard. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Critical Reviews for Red River Blue at Metacritic
  11. ^ a b Sexton, Scott. "Red River Blue review". Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Red River Blue review". AllMusic. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Morrison, Allen. "Red River Blue review". American Songwriter. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Wetta, Emily. "NCC Review of Blake Shelton's Red River Blue Album". Nashville Country Club. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Heaton, Dave. "Red River Blue review". PopMatters. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Hermes, Will. "Red River Blue review on Rolling Stone". Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Bjorke, Matt. "Red River Blue review". Roughstock. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Keefe, Jonathan (July 11, 2011), Blake Shelton: Red River Blue, retrieved July 12, 2011 
  19. ^ a b Dukes, Billy. "Red River Blue review". Taste of Country. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Carter, Liv. "CD Review – Red River Blue – Blake Shelton". Urban Country News. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (July 11, 2011). "'River Blue' carries Shelton into pool of country's best". USA Today. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Red River Blue review". Entertainment Weekly. July 14, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Red River Blue review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Chart listing for Red River Blue". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Chart listing for "Honey Bee"". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Chart listing for "God Gave Me You"". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Blake Shelton – Red River Blue". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean
Top Country Albums number-one album
July 30–August 6, 2011
Succeeded by
Chief by Eric Church