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John Anderson

Anthology – 2002 (Audium)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

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CDs by John Anderson

Strike gold with a song, and then leave it alone. More often than not when a singer re-records their hits, they fail to match the originals. Every so often an artist will come close, as Merle Haggard did a few years back with "For The Record," but most fall flat.

Not so for John Anderson. With his initial release for Audium, country's dandy drawler revives 30 tunes from the past on 2 discs. The result? Yet another in a long line of winners. Anderson serves near letter perfect "covers" of chart-toppers "Wild And Blue" and 1983's "Swingin,'" the latter long regarded as his breakthrough song. But it's far from his best, then and now. Try "Your Lyin' Blue Eyes." Anderson sounded hungry on the original from 1980. When he sang, feeling bled like an open vein.

On that note, Anderson is no longer hungry, at least not in the same sense. But gosh, his reading of "Log Black Veil," perhaps more than anything else here, illustrates the level to which his voice has risen.