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Xavier Bernard (Belgium)

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Rules Of Travel
Rules Of Travel
Price: CDN$ 16.50
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rosanne Cash - Rules Of Travel, Jan. 2 2004
This review is from: Rules Of Travel (Audio CD)
Well, in the seven years that separate this album from 10 Song Demo, Rosanne experienced some voice problems but you won't notice them here. Her voice has remained as good as it was and has even improved from maturity over the years. She has brought out a little jewel revealing all her vocal and composition talents. This is a very intimate album. How intimate can you get when Rosanne sings with her father on September When It Comes. This song will give you chills especially when the now late Johnny Cash starts singing. There is a very special atmosphere throughout the album that makes for concentrated listening. A must have by all means unless you're a Mindy McCready fan.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Garth Brooks - Scarecrow, Aug. 18 2003
This review is from: Scarecrow (Audio CD)
OK. So this is Garth's latest and last album. Since SEVENS he came up with countrier stuff than on his previous releases though never reaching the quality level apparent on his very first two albums, 'Garth Brooks' and 'No Fences'.
This time we have some very country stuff
- BEER RUN: how countri-er can you get when you have George Jones on a song that may have a tried story, sure, but then, isn't having fun with the boys and girls after a hard week of work what country music's mostly been all about through several decades?
- BIG MONEY: fun, maybe laughable but it's country anyway.
Then we have the usual duet with Trisha Yearwood
- SQUEEZE ME IN: rocking though hardly earth-shattering
There are of course a couple of heavy ballads (otherwise, it wouldn't be a Garth album, right?)
- THE STORM: A little too heavy to my taste, but if you're sentimental, you may appreciate the sad story of the broken-hearted confused woman, well interpreted by the singer.
- MR MIDNIGHT: The better of the ballads, with Garth at a radio station taking requests from listeners and suddenly has his ex on the line but he doesn't tell her who he is as she declares her love for him. Nicely written, nicely sung.
We also have a couple of pop songs:
- WHY AIN'T I RUNNING: Good, but nothing more.
- WRAPPED UP IN YOU: Much better, with simpler lyrics, but the melody is so catchy, you will instantly remember it.
At the end we have a movie-theme song:
- WHEN YOU COME BACK TO ME AGAIN: What can I say? It's empty. As are most movie songs. Garth is a great singer so his singing tends to render it interesting but fails to really attract.

So, a good ending though not outstanding, it's still good enough to be recommended and is certainly one of his best albums.

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
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4.0 out of 5 stars Diamond Rio - Greatest Hits, May 21 2003
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Diamond Rio is to me the best group in country music. Their perfect harmonies led by Marty Roe is capable of turning an average tune into a masterpiece.
There are two previously unreleased cuts here. The spirited How Your Love Makes Me Feel, with punch-heavy chorus which became their second number one song six years after Meet In The Middle. The other new song, the Bryan White co-written composition, Imagine That, is the least satisfying song on this compilation.
This set contains sone wonderful cuts like Norma Jean Riley, Mirror Mirror and In A Week Or Two. It also includes their radio-friendly songs, Holdin' and Walkin' Away but it shows that even with the weakest songs Diamond Rio still shines with talent and proficiency.
If you are a Diamond Rio fan, don't miss this compilation. If this band is new to you, this collection is thorough and displays very well the reason for their successful career.

Offered by Polar Bear Store
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5.0 out of 5 stars Garth Brooks - Sevens, May 21 2003
This review is from: Sevens (Audio CD)
This album is taking Garth back to his roots. It's certainly less pop than his previous recordings. To prove it, listen to Longneck Bottle. It's a marvellous western swing thing, with jazz guitar chords and a deftly picked solo by Steve Wariner, complete with scat singing.
This set has even got its own Friends In Low Places with Two Pina Coladas, which, like its predecessor, sounds like a great crowd singalong although I guess no song could ever beat Friends In Low Places in that category.
Another great song, but much darker, is Fit For A King with Garth singing about a street preacher hurling "fire and brimstone at the cars passing by". The guy in the song apparently is poor and drunk but he knows material possession won't matter up there and that he'll be homeless no more once in heaven. It's deadly seriously written and Randy Howard's fiddle part on that song is the lonesomest you're ever likely to hear.
Garth also has added his usual power ballads mood with, for example, I Don't Have To Wonder, a great song about a guy who doesn't even make inside the church but instead watches the wedding from outside. There are some nice lyric touches in this song. There's also In Another's Eyes, the duet with Trisha Yearwood, although, quite frankly, like most of those duets between unrelated artists, it's big, with a lot of shouting but doesn't exactly shake the world.
On the radio-friendly side, you have She's Gonna Make It, a midtempo piece about marriage breakup told in the third person. As you might have guessed from the title, she's gonna make it, he never will.
Garth the rocker also shines on Take The Keys To My Heart and Do What You Gotta Do, both very strong in their composition.
So, there's music for everyone here.

What Livins All About
What Livins All About
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rhett Akins - What Livin's All About, May 21 2003
This review is from: What Livins All About (Audio CD)
At last Rhett got to release the kind of album he deserved to make. The production here enhances Rhett's fresh and down-home voice and the material here reaches a level of quality not previously encountered with Rhett Akins. He has the knack to turn a mediocre song like I Brake For Brunettes into a great song but there is no weak song here and Rhett finally gets to show his true talent.
The album starts with fast songs like Better Than It Used To Be or I'll Be Right Here Lovin' You. They're both great with the latter rhyming 'Saving Whales' with 'American On Line Internet E-mail'.
All the slow items are stacked up at the end of the set and I would say that it's the only down side to this album. It tends to make the album last longer than it actually does. But on the good side, all songs are great, well-written and sung by the artist with sincerity and conviction.
This album shows a Rhett Akins growing as a singer and songpicker and if you don't own anything yet by this singer, this is a real good place to start.

Down The Road I Go
Down The Road I Go
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Travis Tritt - Down The Road I Go, May 14 2003
This review is from: Down The Road I Go (Audio CD)
Travis is back on form ! After a couple of mediocre albums, he's back with the kind of music he was born to sing.
Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde is a wonderful song about a man meeting a woman at a truck stop, they further along stop at a store that she robs and they both drive away with the money before getting caught at some motel by the police. If you ever see the video, Billy Bob Thornton and Gwyneth Paltrow play the role of the modern day Bonnie and Clyde.
Another great song, It's A Great Day To Be Alive must be a constant crowd-pleaser with Travis singing how he might get himself a new tattoo, take his Harley for a three-day cruise or even grow a fu-man-chu.
The only reason why I do not give this a 5 star rate is because of Best Of Intentions which is okay enough but does not match the delight of the other songs here on this album. Let's just hope he stays in this kind of music on his next albums.

Labor of Love
Labor of Love
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sammy Kershaw - Labor Of Love, May 14 2003
This review is from: Labor of Love (Audio CD)
Here's an underrated singer whose vocal talent shows he deserves more success than he has achieved.
But furthermore he's also become his own man now on this album and vocal comparisons with George Jones are long gone.
Keith Stegall's production here allows Sammy to breathe and gives full presence to his voice rather than hiding it with banging drums and guitars. Even on the rockiest of songs here like the title track or Roamin' Love, the singer sings the hell out of the songs.
The last song on this set, Love Of My Life, is a beautifully-written ballad whose lyrics are simple, it must be said, but had the song been more involved lyrically, it would have diminished its impact and meaning.
Sammy also reflects on life in One Day Left To Live, gets cajun with Little Did I Know and all the others songs work perfectly for him. This is just his best record to date.

Who Needs Pictures
Who Needs Pictures
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brad Paisley - Who Needs Pictures, Feb. 15 2003
This review is from: Who Needs Pictures (Audio CD)
Good strong debut. This guy knows how to handle a guitar. This set will please anyone who gets tired of Lonestar, Mark Wills or Rascal Flatts. This is good, traditional-sounding-but-still-fresh country. The reason why I do not give this a top rate is because two songs here don't work for. They're ballads that both made him very successful on the charts. They're also the most charts-oriented songs here. I found them both boring because a little too heavy on seriousness. I mean, there will no doubt be thousands of people calling radio stations requesting those songs because they mean something to them, but if you like your country light, traditional and highly entertaining, you'll skip 'em. Anyway, don't let these songs keep you from buying this effort. It is great and a breeze of fresh air on today's Nashville productions.

How I Feel
How I Feel
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terri Clark - How I Feel, Jan. 28 2003
This review is from: How I Feel (Audio CD)
Terrific. First of all, she has a very distinctive voice that you couldn't compare to any other with the exception maybe of that of Patty Loveless. Nevertheless, this is her best album. While her previous efforts showed Terri has a tough and proud woman unafraid of any man, this set shows her a little softer and, I guess, more mature musically. The song that made me buy this CD is the first single, "Now That I've Found You", which was contemporary enough to get her into Billboard's Top 3 but still had enough emotion and I thought it was quite better than most of the songs at no. 1 around that time. There are better songs on this set, though, like the traditional Melba Montgomery-written song, "Cure For The Common Heartache", "Unsung Hero". Another single that did it for me here is the rockin' "You're Easy On The Eyes" ("but hard on the heart"). All songs are top-rate. She's a great singer and this is a great album, her best actually.

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3.0 out of 5 stars Martina McBride - Evolution, Jan. 21 2003
This review is from: Evolution (Audio CD)
What I always found irritating about Martina is the way she always feels lke she has to shout over the music to be heard. And she does it from song one to the end, except on the sweet and gentle "Valentine". Otherwise, this is fine AOR-music that George Strait fans will hate, no doubt.
"A Broken Wing" is the song that, for me, works the best here. It's a song about an ill-treated wife and her dreams sung with power and you can feel the rage in Martina's voice as she sings the chorus.
"Happy Girl", with its Celtic mood, is a song that wouldn't sound out of place on Kathy Mattea album.
This album bears its title well as it shows Martina taking a deeper AOR direction but you could also say that she matures vocally and musically.
One thing, though: why on earth would an artist record her baby's gurglings and put it on her latest album as a "hidden track" the way she does at the end of this one?
Otherwise, if you like your country pop with a strong female voice, you've reached the right place.

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