Music reviews

| December 01, 2007

Sweet Danger – Suzy Bogguss
From 1987-’92, Suzy Bogguss struggled to find a song that would stick high on the country charts. But her platinum 1991 album, Aces, yielded a string of hits, including “Letting Go” and “Outbound Plane.” Bogguss’ last radio hit, “Hey Cinderella,” came in ’93, and the Illinois native knew it was time to switch gears, including becoming a mother to son Ben.

Almost 15 years later, Bogguss, 50, has evolved from country crooner to multi-format talent. On Sweet Danger, co-produced by Bogguss, you’re going to hear her belt the bluesy “Chain Lover”; then you’ll hear the terrific track “Baby July.” Bogguss’ stripped-down version of “If You Leave Me Now” is terrific. Other tracks of note include “The Bus Ride,” “One Clear Moment” and the title track, co-written by Bogguss. B


Reba Duets – Reba McEntire
Okie Reba McEntire has sold nearly 50 million records during her 30-something years in the music business. Along the way, she’s befriended a whole lot of fans, including other singers. Many of these singers have been stars of other music formats. “I’ve been a fan of different kinds of music all my life,” McEntire says. “I really don’t like to categorize music. To me, there’s only two categories: good and bad. And I try to sing the good songs, and listen to good music.”

McEntire, 52, rounded up 11 other amazing voices to produce a collection of music titled Reba Duets. “It was like a family reunion,” she says. The CD kicks off with Reba and LeAnn Rimes on “When You Love Someone Like That.” Other singers joining in on tracks include Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Justin Timberlake, Don Henley and her old duet partner Vince Gill. “There’s a lot of love in this record, because I love these people that I get to sing with. And I think people are going to love it, too. I honestly do,” she says. A


Greatest Hits – Sara Evans
There are a lot of hills to go up and down around the Little Dixie region of Central Missouri. During her 10-year career, hometown girl Sara Evans’ country music success has been up and down like the Boonesboro landscape, with plenty of both hits and duds along the way.

Only the hits are showcased on this new RCA Records collection, including her first No. 1, “No Place That Far.” The 36-year-old’s newest hit, “As If,” is rocketing up the charts, and it kicks off this 14-track CD. The song was co-written by Evans. In fact, she co-wrote all four of the new songs on this record. Also featured on the album are hits from throughout her time at the top, including “Born to Fly,” “Suds in the Bucket,” “A Real Fine Place to Start” and “I Could Not Ask for More,” among others. B


Living Hard – Gary Allan
“I think the fans are gonna feel that this record is different,” Gary Allan says, “but the most important thing is that what I do is authentic. I’ve never pushed for a certain image. I’ve just always done my own thing.” Amen to that.

Allan, 39, and his hard-rockin’, no-apologies country music has traded in its twang for a gravelly growl millions of fans recognize as his unique voice. Living Hard and its 11 songs prove that, though times may change, the thread of truth at the center of his music remains the same. The album’s first single is “Watching Airplanes.” The California singer pours his full emotion into “Half of My Mistakes,” “Yesterday’s Rain” and the title track. “Wrecking Ball” is a good one to spin going down the highway. B-

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