Highlights include the jaunty title tack "Honky Tonk Champagne," a wryly humorous "Cows" (complete with Houston references), and covers of Tom T. Hall's "That's How I Got to Memphis" and even Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown." Unfortunately, Dodd does take the occasional side trip into mawkish cowboy sentimentality ("What Some Call a Weakness"). But what sets Dodd apart from the current crop of bland, frat-boy-friendly Texas troubadours are the solid songwriting skills that pack this album with clever wordplay, memorable melodies and hooks galore. His clear, country-pop inflected voice is also an asset. And even if some of his characters are hoary clichés (the old rodeo rider of "One Ride in Vegas"; the weekend honky-tonkers and various broken hearts elsewhere), Dodd and his co-writers add enough lyrical twists to make them seem fresh. Barring any new kink, Deryl Dodd might finally fulfill that early promise.