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Album Review: Kellie Pickler, 100 Proof

January 24, 2012 Ben Foster 12


Kellie Pickler
100 Proof

From early on, it was announced that Pickler’s third album would more closely reflect the sound of the traditional country music that is closest to her heart, with Pickler claiming to have made the album “as country as I was allowed to make it.” The bouncy steel guitars chords of opening track “Where’s Tammy Wynette,” and opening lyrics “While I’m torn between killin’ him and lovin’ him/ He stays torn between neon lights and home” quickly announce that Pickler is not kidding.

Does that mean that the album is a retro effort? Not necessarily. Rather, Pickler and her producers Frank Liddell and Luke Wooten effectively craft a sound that gives a respectful nod to country music’s past while simultaneously making tasteful use of modern sounds. Thus, the album carries a strong traditionalist bent, but sounds vintage without sounding dated, demonstrating that it is indeed possible to create a fresh and modern contemporary country album while still maintaining a strong connection to the traditions of the past.

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Retro Single Review: George Strait, “Marina Del Rey”

July 27, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 4

1982 | Peak: #6

“Marina Del Rey” was an early attempt by George Strait at recording a pensive and thoughtful ballad.

He wasn’t quite ready for it, yet.   The lyrics are appropriately longing and sentimental for times gone by, but Strait hasn’t yet developed enough as a vocalist to pull off the mature performance required.

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Searching for Gary Harrison

September 18, 2010 Guest Contributor 11

Written by Bob Losche (Music & More)

Google “Gary Harrison songwriter” and you won’t find a website or MySpace. There’s not even a Wikipedia article. Don’t know where he’s from, how he got into songwriting or what he likes to eat for dinner.

As far as I know, he has never made an album. When he co-writes a song, does he write the music or the lyrics or a little of both? Don’t know. He’s a Grammy nominated songwriter as co-writer of “Strawberry Wine”, the 1997 CMA Song of the Year, and has penned many BMI Award-Winning Songs. It appears that his first big hit was “Lying in Love with You”, written with Dean Dillon for Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius. The duet went to #2 in 1979.

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George Strait, “Living for The Night”

June 14, 2009 Leeann Ward 10

It is already well documented that George Strait co-wrote “Living for the Night” with his son along with Dean Dillon, one of Strait’s most relied upon songwriters. With this knowledge, it is nearly impossible not to be curious as to how this song, one of Strait’s very few compositions, compares to the others in his strong singles catalog. Unfortunately, it is a cut below most of his biggest hits, but it’s not a complete throw away.

Strait sings “Every Day is a lifetime without you/Hard to get through/Since you’ve gone.” The days are a painful reminder of his loss. So, he drinks as he lives for the night because it’s the only way he knows how to escape the pain. In fact, he even creates his own night by drawing the curtains to keep the daylight out and waits for the night so that he can “venture out into those neon arms that hold {him} tight.”

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