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Ori Release '06. Second album by the Canadian singer songwriter 11 trax.
Writing teachers all over the world tend to reinforce the same philosophy: Write what you know. Canadian Idol 3 runner-up Rex Goudie has done exactly that. On his sophomore release, Look Closer, the former Newfoundland boy has written and chosen to cover songs that oscillate between the same two themes: love and loss. Classic rock continues to dominate his style, but soap-star angst has been the key to his chart success to date. Goudie's soft centre and emotional delivery allows teenage girls everywhere yet another opportunity to swoon over his sensitivity. Look Closer's first single "You Got to Me" (penned by Chantal Kreviazuk and hubby Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace) is surprisingly less compelling than one would expect, given the Canadian couple's songwriting skills. "Hollow" is the one traditional rocker that works more than any other, with Goudie's gritty voice exploding into a powerful chorus. The highest points of the album are two considerably different tracks than the formulaic rest. "Like I Was Dying," featuring fellow East-Coaster Damhnait Doyle, shows his prowess amid a country-affected melody, while the charming Kris Kristofferson-esque closer "Ain't Dead Yet" (written by Rex) makes the truth crystal clear: Goudie's recent chart success may be due to his teenage audience, but his long-term calling lies in traditional country, where the singer-songwriter really shines. --Denise Sheppard