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Aaron Tippin

Tool Box – 1997 (RCA)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Aaron Tippin

Aaron Tippin possesses one of the rawest voices in country music today, setting him apart from many of the crooners topping the charts. His latest and most mediocre release is different in many ways from his earlier efforts. For one thing, Tippin's songwriting is kept to a minimum. On previous albums, he's written all or most of the material. Here, only 3 of the 11 tunes were penned by Tippin. The rest came courtesy of resident Music City songwriters. Maybe Nashville is trying to mold him to conform more with everyone else popular today. Note the throwaway version of "I Can Help," a very lackluster cover of the Billy Swan hit from the 70's. Still in all, there's some enjoyable material here. Favorites include "Ten Pound Hammer," "How's The Radio Know" and "She Made a Man Out of a Mountain of Stone." Tippin's songs have always had an 'I'm doin' it my way,' flavor and attitude. That's what's made him special. Let's hope Nashville doesn't mess with that formula.