STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 88043-16301 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Peter Timmis
Country music has many creative strengths. There are magnificent, soulful voices (Meryl Haggard, Randy Travis), there are dazzlingly brilliant instrumentalists (Ricky Skaggs) and there are supremely clever lyricists (Willie Nelson, Tom T Hall). Unfortunately, veteran Allen Karl doesn't get anywhere close to such country giants. This project reflects that he's stuck in a country time warp when crooners like Jim Reeves and Marty Robbins ruled the Nashville roost. Today such stylings sound decades out-of-date and when you add to that saccharine and clumsily executed arrangements you have a deeply flawed album. Never does the record stray from clichéd and syrupy love songs sung over a grating pedal steel backing. "Real Good Love" for example contains the particularly cringe-worthy line "We may never see the south of France/But we can stay home every night and dance". By track 10 where Allen declares "(I'm A Member Of The) Country Club" the listener is certain that this is not a club they'd want to join.
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