STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 48586-14604 LABEL: Warner Bros 6249845 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 EXTRAS: DVD RELEASE DATE: 2008-08-31 RRP: £16.99
Reviewed by Dave Brassington
Is it really 20 years since I stood outside the Royal Albert Hall watching country's latest superstar arrive for his UK debut? Even my daughter who didn't like country music thought he was dishy! 20 years on Randy still sounds as good as ever and is still with his original producer Kyle Lehning. Whilst this album is good solid country music I did find it a bit of an uneven mixture. The album kicks off with the bright title track, and then we come into several good songs including the ballad "Faith In You" which is reprised twice on the accompanying DVD. Bob Dylan's classic "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" gets an airing and stands out as the only old song on the album. Country music often gets criticised for morbid songs and a couple of tracks, "Dig Two Graves" and "Til I'm Dead And Gone" certainly come into that category! Personally I was a little disappointed with this album, which is not a patch on some of his recent gospel releases, as some of the songs here just don't come together. The only gospel track you can hear/see is the classic "Three Wooden Crosses" on the DVD which outshines anything else on the CD.
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One of the ten top-selling solo country artists of all
time, Randy Travis has recorded the perfect country album with not one out-of-place note or one false emotion on his superb new collection. His vocals have never sounded more expressive, better phrased or more soulfully shaded. Around The Bend is released as a special edition deluxe pack with a bonus DVD of an Unplugged performance on Country Music Television with 5 live songs, plus a free 6 month trial membership of the Randy Travis fan club.