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Jamie O'Neal

Brave – 2005 (Capitol)

Reviewed by Greg Milliken

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CDs by Jamie O'Neal

It's been four years since Jamie O'Neal's debut album, "Shiver," brought the native Australian three Grammy nominations and Best New Artist of awards from Billboard and the Academy of Country Music. Newly signed to Capitol, O'Neal kicks off her second album, in overdrive with the single "Tying to Find Atlantis." The fiddle and drum-powered country rocker is a showcase for her breathy, in-your-face vocals.

She follows with "Na+ve," a mid-tempo, '80s-style pop tune, "Somebody's Hero," a heartfelt new-country ballad about motherhood and "Devil On The Left," a piano-and-strings torch song. O'Neal hits a a Bobbie Gentry groove with "On My Way to You" and tips her cap to Tanya Tucker on the tough-talking "Girlfriends."

In case its not obvious by now, the disc covers a very broad stylistic waterfront. Each of the 11 offerings is well written, musically interesting and buffed to a high gloss by producer Keith Stegall. But at its core, "Brave" is a collection of very marketable, highly formulaic singles designed to get O'Neal back on the charts after a lengthy absence.