Personnel: Joe Diffie, Johnny Slate, John Dickson (vocals); Tim Mensy (acoustic guitar); Brent Mason, Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Walt Cunningham (strings, keyboards); Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Terry McMillan (harmonica); Matt Rollings (piano); Larry Paxton, Glenn Worf (bass); Lonnie Wilson (drums, percussion); Larry Keith, Clay Keith, Lee Bogan, Dennis "Flash" Fletcher, Billy Dean (background vocals).
Joe Diffie, the Oklahoman country star with the "Honky Tonk Attitude" takes us on a journey to the THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN, and gives us a musical tour of this crazy planet.
The humorous narrative of the title track pretty much sets up his perspective: "Cause and effect, chain of events/All of the chaos makes perfect sense/When you're spinning 'round, things come undone/Welcome to Earth, third rock from the sun."
Diffie sings about subjects dear to his heart: women ("I'm In Love With A Capital 'U'"); redneck vehicles and attitudes ("There's something women like about a pickup man"); blue collar concerns ("I'd Like To Have A Problem Like That"); country cookin' ("I used to think they were after me/ But they're just after my recipe/For good brown gravy"); and honky tonks ("Wild Blue Yonder"). There are some excellent ballads; "So Help Me Girl," could give "I Swear" a run for its destined-to-be-a-classic money.
Instead of being smoke-and-whiskey heavy like his usual album fare, THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN shows off more of Diffie's sense of humor, musical versatility and considerable vocal talents.
Third Rock from the Sun represents a bit of a musical departure for Joe Diffie. Though he keeps his basic honky tonk roots, he experiments more, adding more rock flourishes to his sound. Not all of his attempts are successful, but his ballads are frequently compelling. Nevertheless, it's a little distressing that he has only written one song on the album -- there's no reason for his well to dry up by only his fourth record. ~ Thom Owens